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John Calipari opens up Kentucky facilities to former Wildcats locked out

Jul 3, 2011, 3:00 PM EDT

NCAA Men's Final Four - Kentucky v UConn Getty Images

John Calipari’s recruiting abilities seem to border on the magical. He’s pulled in three of the last four Rookies of the Year, and his current class features what is likely the top pick (Anthony Davis), along with what could be at least two other lottery selections in 2012. In short, it’s completely absurd what kind of talent he pulls. Whether it’s a result of, or a consequence therein, Calipari also has quite a bit of pro basketball celebrities rifling through the halls of Lexington. LeBron James is notoriously close to the program through Calipari’s friend William Wesley. Jay-Z through the same network. In short, Calipari has heavily leaned on pro connections either as perks in recruiting or simple benefits to UK players.

And now there will be even more pros hanging about. Calipari took to Twitter to say that he had invited all former Wildcat players to use the UK facilities during the lockout. He also offered to help them get set up for classes should they want to finish degrees.

Now, obviously UK will have to be careful with pro players “invited” by Calipari interacting with any recruits. Then again, considering what Calipari is already laden with as far as a reputation, hard to see anything hurting him at this point. On the flip side, though, this could be a beneficial thing. Getting DeMarcus Cousins into a regular workout schedule with his good friend John Wall will provide him with structure. The concerns about Cousins have never been about off-court transgressions, but there have been worries about his conditioning. Working with Wall and Eric Bledsoe might prevent that. And hey, if Rondo shows, he and DMC can have a glaring contest. They should broadcast that if it happens.



  1. craigw24 - Jul 3, 2011 at 3:39 PM

    I think this has a real further benefit for Calipari.

    Future recruits will see he not only can help then get to the pros, but he even takes care of them if there are problems at the pro level. This means more recruits will have his program as the first place to start when leaving high school.

  2. randysavage4ever - Jul 3, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    arent they NCAA rules against this…

    b-ball is a pure sport. Mario Chalmers is clutch as heck, but no one hits that 07 Kansas shot…

  3. goforthanddie - Jul 3, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    “He also offered to help them get set up for classes should they want to finish degrees.”

    I know that part is just pure PR, but players from all schools should be looking into this.

  4. aqzi - Jul 4, 2011 at 1:12 AM

    I don’t know how out of the ordinary it is for college gyms to be open to NBA alumni. I grew up near UCLA and used to see Baron Davis and other NBA players working out down there all the time. Knowing Calipari, he could just be taking advantage of the lockout to get some publicity.
    I agree, the taking classes to get degrees thing sounds like a great idea, I wonder if any players will follow through with that.

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