FanPost

This Week In Wildcat Basketball: Just Another Day At The Office

For most any other coach in college basketball, this week would have been an impossible one. For UK Head Coach John Calipari, it's just another day in paradise. Since Monday, John Calipari has been preparing his next version of the UK Wildcats, or the guys I am now particlular to calling the Fantasticats, for battle.And if that was all he was doing, it would be a really tough week. But not Coach Cal. He decided to throw in a wrinkle or two.

If I wanted to get my team ready to face a tough opponent on a hostile floor for their first game out of the blocks this season, I would want them in the gym, sequestered from the world, and concentrating on nothing but basketball. Fortunately for the world, I am not John Calipari, because I would be wasting opportunities handed to me on a silver platter to make the world a better place.



Monday night, the Cats dispatched Transylvania with ease, and then started preparing for a showdown with a hungry Maryland Terrapins squad tonight. He just does it a little differently than most do. For example, he decided to help out a little bit with the mess in New York by raising some money for the people who need it. So he and his Fantasticats went on TV and took an hour out of their busy schedules to raise 500K in under an hour. Yeah, 500K. And that number is expected to swell much larger by the time the check is ready to present to the American Red Cross this afternoon. Oh yeah, he took time out to do that too. When most coaches are worried about zone vs. man-to-man defense, John Calipari is worried about getting help to those who need it. He is more worried about folks who don't have heat on Staten Island than he is about Nerlens Noel's feet being positioned to take a charge.

That's not really true. He is worried about his guys playing well, but not enough to forget about all the problems going on in the world. And he wants his player to wory more about that too. Go visit CoachCal.com. On the front page you will find pictures, videos, and stories about his team. You will also find CoachCal's Book Club. Yeah, his Book Club. Every week he updates everyone on what he is reading. Do UK fans care what he is reading? Well, they didn't until he became their coach. His list of awards is staggering. His list of NBA talent he has guided to the top of their game is even moreso. there is even a category on his website labeled "DreamMaker". Maybe that should be his title, not Head Coach. Calipari changes lives. He changes people's outlook on what they can do. And the very thing that put him in the middle of all of this is the last thing he worries about.

Coaches build teams. They build programs. They develop their talented players into a group that matures over three to four years and becomes something. Not Calipari. he takes the best talent in the world, gives them a goal, then sets his sights as well as theirs towards that goal.And they do it in a year. then the next year they do it again, and again, and again. The cycle has been changed. The world has been changed, and someone has once again "moved the cheese".

When the story of college basketball is written and done for good, and the NCAA is long gone, as are most of us, there will be a passage written about a man who, because he decided to change his priorities, changed the game. He made the world a better place, and he made the game learn from it's mistakes as well. Not many people get a chance to change the world into a better place simply by doing what they do better than everyone else. John Calipari is making the most of his chance to do that very thing. I wonder how many of us would be able to do the same thing with that opportunity.

By the way, UK plays Maryland tonight.

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