The Kentucky Wildcats may have just landed their biggest commitment of 2016.
Brad Calipari, the son of UK head coach John Calipari, appears to have committed to joining the Cats next year as a walk-on, something that's been in the works for awhile now.
Blessed to be able to say I'll be apart of the #BBN next year!!— Brad Calipari (@bradcalipari) March 6, 2016
Brad Calipari's prep coach: "He's a D-I shooter. He has a high basketball IQ. He has upside and he's very competitive. He wants to win."— Chris Fisher (@ChrisFisher247) March 6, 2016
This has been a long road for Brad getting to this point. After tearing his ACL during the 2013-14 season, Brad eventually transferred from Lexington Christian to The MacDuffie School in Granby, Mass. He also reclassified from the 2015 class to 2016 in order to get healthy and have a productive senior season in hopes of landing scholarship offers.
247 Sports' Chris Fisher spoke with MacDuffie coach Jacque Rivera back in September about Brad's game and what he could bring to a college program.
MacDuffie coach Jacque Rivera says Calipari has worked hard to improve his game and change his body.
"He's a hard worker," Rivera said. "He's worked hard to change his body. His body fat is under 10 percent. He's a Division I shooter. He has a very high basketball IQ. He's a very smart basketball player. He has tremendous upside and he's very competitive. He wants to win more than anyone."
Over the spring and summer on the Nike EYBL circuit, Calipari averaged 3.0 points in 10.2 minutes per game for the Travelers while shooting 13-of-45 from three-point range (28.9%) in 16 games. He also had an interview with Bleacher Report in which he stressed his desire to make a name for himself.
"Right now, I'm creating a name for myself as I get better. People are going to start knowing me for me," Brad said. "I want to play collegiately and then overseas. I wouldn't mind playing for my dad, but I don't want it to be just handed to me. It's just pride, really. I don't want people to think that. I've worked so hard to get where I'm at. I want people to know that I'm not getting stuff just handed to me."
While Brad may not have the five-star status of guys like Malik Monk or De'Aaron Fox, he may help ensure John stays in Lexington for at least four more years. John hinted at that notion this past summer when he said the following on his son's possibly walking on at UK and its impact, via ESPN Radio:
"First of all, my wife has already told me if he decides to come, ‘you’re not leaving,’ so that would mean I’m here five more years," Cal said regarding Brad coming to UK. "If I’m here five more years, why not stay ’til 70, why not sign a new contract and I’ll be 70 when I leave.
"Seems like everyone coaches until 70, I was thinking 60, but maybe I’ll coach until 72, maybe 73. If he comes and he wants to walk on, to be able to spend four years with my son and the ups and downs of this? The only thing is he likes to talk back, you can’t do that when you’re playing for me."
So yeah, Brad coming to UK is pretty big. Even without Cal saying all of that, common sense tells you that a coach having his son on the team will certainly help keep said coach where he is. The question with Cal isn't really retirement right now as much as leaving for the NBA, especially with how often he's targeted by teams.
But more importantly, congratulations to Brad on reaching this point!
Here's some highlights of Brad stroking it from deep: