June 26, 2014 Louisville, Ky.
Tonight Live from the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York on ESPN at 7pm, the country will be tuned in to see what 60 names Commissioner Adam Silver will call out during the 2014 NBA Draft. Most fans and NBA heads will concentrate on who the overall number 1 pick will be, while others will tune in to see who goes in the lottery and the first round of the 2014 NBA draft. Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker? Will Cleveland keep its pick at #1? How far will Joel Embiid fall in the draft? These are some of the questions that will be answered in tonight’s draft. The question I will focus on during tonight’s draft is stemming from a statement Coach John Calipari made 4 years ago. Was Coach Calipari right?, is the question I’m referring to. On Thursday June 24, 2010 the Kentucky Wildcats set a NBA draft history record by becoming the first college team to ever have five players drafted in the first round. Kentucky Coach John Calipari was in attendance for the record-setting night and was quoted as saying “This is the best night in UK history” Is Coach Calipari Right? Many UK fans, former players and other UK affiliates disagreed wholeheartedly with this statement. How can Coach Calipari say such a thing was the number 1 question on sports radio, Twitter, blogs and message boards the following day. Many people laughed at the statement because they knew Kentucky fans would think that winning the National Championship is the best night for UK history. Since the statement in 2010, after tonight, Calipari will have helped 19 players get drafted in 5 years. Name another school and coach that has topped that in the same time frame. 19 players in 5 years is crazy to think about, when you compare it to Kentucky from 1993 – 2009 only having 16 players drafted to the NBA. Coach Calipari was right when you look back on the statement now, because winning a National Championship starts with getting talented players. Recruiting is the key to getting those talented players. Calipari knows these talented basketball players coming up are dreaming about playing ball in the NBA one day. Imagine a 16-year-old hearing Kentucky and Coach Calipari having more players drafted to the NBA in a 5 year period than any other school or coach in the country. That’s why 2010 in Calipari’s mind was the best night in UK history, because he’s using the NBA as a recruiting tool to land the best talent in the country. I’m sure some 2015 & 2016 high-school recruits will be watching tonight. What will they think when they see Calipari in the draft room supporting two more former UK players in Julius Randle and James Young tonight? I know what I will be thinking If I was a recruit. Kentucky state of mind.
Here’s to the best night in UK history. Kentucky fans can’t thank Coach Calipari enough after seeing this list full of players.
2015 – It could be 7 or 8 more drafted. Smh… WOW!
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