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KET documentary ‘The Alice and Wade Houston Story’ tells the story of one of Kentucky’s most prominent and philanthropic couples


KET documentary ‘The Alice and Wade Houston Story’ tells the story of one of Kentucky’s most prominent and philanthropic couples

For Release: 12/22/22 12:57 PM

The Alice and Wade Houston Story, a new original production from KET, chronicles the lives and careers of one of Louisville’s most prominent couples. From their childhoods in Louisville, Ky., and Alcoa, Tenn., we follow the Houstons as they move from the segregated worlds of their youth to their multiple successes in the arenas of both business and sports, and their lifelong friendship with Muhammad Ali. The story is told by a chorus of voices in addition to Alice and Wade, including their children, relatives and friends, including Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, University of Louisville basketball coach Kenny Payne and former UofL star and NBA player Darrell Griffith, as well as business partners, civic leaders and former players whose lives have all been touched by the Houston’s generosity. 

The couple began dating in 1966, when Wade was one of the first African-American basketball players at the University of Louisville and Alice worked as a counselor in the university’s Upward Bound Program. Married in 1969, the couple settled in Louisville where Wade coached the basketball programs at Ahrens High School and, later, Male High, which he led to a state championship in 1975. Later that year, Wade accepted an assistant coaching position at the University of Louisville basketball team under head coach Denny Crum. In 1989, Wade was named the head coach at the University of Tennessee, making him the first Black head coach in the Southeastern Conference, a position he held until 1994.

Alice, who earned her Master of Education from the university in 1975, worked for UofL in the financial aid office until 1988, when she left to enter the private sector, ultimately developing HJI Supply Chain Solutions, a logistics provider and warehouse management company that has become one of the largest woman – and minority – owned supply chain businesses in North America.

Both Alice and Wade have a long history of community service and philanthropy, working with such organizations as the National Urban League, the Greater Louisville Project, the James Graham Brown Foundation and the University of Louisville Foundation, among others.

The Alice and Wade Houston Story
KET Monday, Feb. 27 • 9/8 pm
KET2 Thursday, March 2 • 9/8 pm
Stream at and the PBS Video app

The Alice and Wade Houston Story is a KET production. The program is produced by Tom Thurman and Brandon Turner and is funded in part by the KET Endowment for Kentucky Productions.

KET will host two screening events in the week leading up to the film’s broadcast premiere:

  • Premiere screening of The Alice and Wade Houston Story
    Speed Museum Cinema, Louisville
    Tuesday, Feb. 21 • 5 pm
  • Screening of The Alice and Wade Houston Story
    Lyric Theatre & Cultural Arts Center, Lexington
    Thursday, Feb. 23 • 6 pm

To RSVP at one of the events, please visit  

KET is Kentucky’s largest classroom, where learning comes to life for more than two million people each week via television, online and mobile. Learn more about Kentucky’s preeminent public media organization at, on Twitter @KET and at


Elizabeth Greenfield
Director of Marketing and Communications