Pikeville girls basketball coaches at right spot to respond and help man in distress at Fayette Mall

Pikeville coach Kristy Orem, center, with her husband, Robert, and son, J.T.

After her team lost 56-52 to Marshall County in the first round of the state tournament, Pikeville coach Kristy Orem was not happy her team shot eight free throws compared to 35 for Marshall.

“In the locker room I told our girls sometimes you get hit in the mouth and how you respond is everything,” Orem said. “I told them we were not walking out there crying. How you respond is everything.”

The coach and her husband/assistant coach, Robert Orem, were at Fayette Mall Friday with the team after Thursday’s loss. After the team meal, players wanted to spend some time shopping before going to Friday night’s state tourney game. The Orems were walking by AllSports when they saw a man in distress laying on the floor.

“We looked at each other and I thought, ‘How do we respond?’ Robert started walking toward him and then I did,” the Pikeville coach said.

Store employees had already called 911 and Robert Orem checked the man’s pulse while waiting for 911 officials to tell them what to do.

“I started compressions, looked at Robert and he took over,” Kristy Orem said.

“This is my second time having to do CPR. It just comes with the training,” Robert Orem, a deputy sheriff in Pike County, said. “I have been trained in CPR and certified for 20 years. The last time I had to do CPR it was for 13-14 minutes. This time it was just 3-4- minutes.”

Kristy Orem, who is also Pikeville’s athletics director, said usually when they are at a certification meeting the question is always asked if anyone has had to perform CPR.

“Robert is usually the only one who says yes,” Kristy Orem said.

The Orems later talked to the AllSports manager and were told the man was up and talking at the hospital after being transported there.

“It’s like God had us there for a reason,” the Pikeville coach said. “We were just glad we could help.”

So while Pikeville did not win a game at the state tourney, the Pikeville coaching staff certainly made a huge impact in Lexington.

They have been married 23 years and coaching together the entire time.

“We don’t argue too much,” Kristy Orem said.

“The assistant coach just makes suggestions. That’s it,” Robert Orem said.

Their son, J.T., is a sophomore at the University of Kentucky and manager on the women’s basketball team.

“He wants to coach just like us, too,” Kristy Orem said.

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