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Kentucky basketball player opens up about his emotional support dog, Ghost

UK basketball player Davion Mintz said his emotional support dog, Ghost, helps him with challenges both on and off the court.

LEXINGTON, Ky. — When you're a Division I basketball player like Kentucky guard Davion Mintz, the light can get pretty bright.  Mintz wrapped his final game in his two-year Wildcat career with a senior night win over Ole Miss at Rupp Arena on Tuesday. 

"Everything you do is under a magnifying glass," Mintz said. "It's a great thing, but sometimes it can be harder. It can mess with your confidence... it can mess with your mentality."

Mintz may not have even returned to Kentucky basketball last season without the help of his registered support dog, Ghost.

After a season battling an ankle injury two years ago, the Creighton transfer realized that he needed something. So, after becoming a Wildcat last fall, Mintz got then eight-month-old, Ghost. 

"The doctor I've been with since I was a child has a lot of visits with Ghost, he got him prescribed to be my emotional support animal," Mintz said. 

Credit: Alyssa Newton | WHAS11
Ghost has been Kentucky basketball player Davion Mintz emotional support dog and best friend since getting him as an eight-month-old puppy in the fall.

It didn't take much for the fetch-loving, stick-chewing, happy little French bulldog to bond with Mintz. 

"He's a love bug, one of the best dogs I've ever had," Mintz said. "Ghost is already super attached, he's always around." 

Ghost is such an integral part of Mintz's life that he even got his own name and likeness deal, becoming the official "SpokesDog" of Richmond Road Veterinary Clinic in Lexington. He's believed to be the first dog with a NIL deal.

"I love my dog more than I love people sometimes, he's family," he said.

The loving little silver Frenchie has been a source of comfort for Mintz whether he's had a big game on the basketball court, or not. 

"He's always even keel, and that's how I try to balance my life. He gives me that." Mintz said. 

For him, it's important to be an example to others who may go through challenges like he's experienced over the years. He hopes that him speaking out will help those who may be struggling in their own ways. 

"I'm really big into mental health, escaping," Mintz said. "Don't be afraid to be vulnerable. You need something in your life other than religion, family... for me that's him."

Credit: Alyssa Newton | WHAS11
Davion Mintz and his emotional support dog Ghost sit outside on the University of Kentucky's campus. Mintz got Ghost last fall and the little French Bulldog has become a source of comfort for the UK basketball player.

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