Gender reveals are now part of the norm, with couples going to great lengths to share the gender of their expected baby with each other, friends, and family. For Owensboro couple Jackie and Zach Smith, the experience included the University of Kentucky basketball team.
The Smiths are expecting their 3rd child, and during their last 2 reveals, Zach was always the one who knew the gender. Jackie decided it was time to return the favor and couldn’t think of a better way than to incorporate Zach’s lifelong passion: Kentucky basketball.
So, she purchased tickets to the Kentucky and Vanderbilt game in Nashville for Zach as a Christmas gift and began planning the trip. Jackie envisioned an intimate experience just involving the two of them, but as the venture progressed, things kept “falling into place.”
“We had been to this U.K. and Vandy game several times, so I thought it was just another date,” Zach said. “This was the perfect way to do a gender reveal for me. I should have seen it coming but never put 2 and 2 together.”
Initially, Jackie envisioned sending Zach to the concessions to grab popcorn, removing her hoodie to reveal the custom “It’s a Boy” jersey she had made, and snagging a fellow Cats fan to record. That all changed when Zach spotted his long-time friend Justin’s truck in the parking lot outside of the arena.
“We didn’t even plan on him being there – the entire thing just came together,” Zach said. “Jackie immediately started texting him, asking him to come to our seats at halftime. Even Justin didn’t know what was happening; he just thought he was taking a picture. And then, we both saw the jersey.”
After having 2 daughters, Jackie told Zach they were expecting a boy. The few fans surrounding them in the nosebleed section of the predominantly blue-filled arena also shared in the celebration.
“Zach is the biggest U.K. fan I know, so I knew I wanted to incorporate his fandom somehow, and I thought tickets to a game would be a good gift,” Jackie said. “Before I knew the gender, several speculated it would be a boy because of my plans. Either way, we would have been overjoyed.”
As the game ends in Kentucky’s favor, the two begin exiting the same stadium, Zach already listening to the post-game show. Before venturing to their car, they see the team loading the bus, and that’s when head coach John Calipari and clowder of Wildcats join in on the celebration.
“We saw Cal and the team loading the bus, and they were all willing to stop for photos,” Zach said. “At first, Cal thought it was just a photo, but after we told him the news, he congratulated us and said, ‘God bless you all.’”
With a blessing from Hall of Fame Coach Calipari, the newborn must have a future as a Wildcat. Either way, Zach will ensure he is an avid Cats fan, regularly taking him to games and creating memories like he did with his family as a child.