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John Calipari playing street ball part of great Howard Garfinkel profile

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Over at SB Nation, Russell Steinberg just penned a fantastic piece on Howard Garfinkel.

You may have never heard of him, but Garfinkel's impact on basketball cannot be overstated. He co-founded the Five-Star Basketball Camp in Honesdale, Pa., and ran it from 1966 until 2008. He also started High School Basketball Illustrated in 1965, which was, at the time, a unique scouting service that revolutionized the way young hoopsters were evaluated, similar to what we see today at Rivals.com, 247 Sports and Scout.com.

Both the camp and scouting service helped pave the way for basketball as we know it today. One of the biggest names in college hoops that Garfinkel impacted is none other than Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari, who has known Garf since he was a camper at Five-Star 40 years ago.

Speaking of which, that piece included a photo of Cal showing off his moves in some street ball:

But more importantly, those camps and what Garf did for Calipari helped make him the successful, Hall of Fame coach he is today.

Calipari’s experience at camp, he says, eventually led to him earning an athletic scholarship at UNC-Wilmington — especially meaningful to Calipari because his parents would not have been able to afford college tuition otherwise.

After that, Calipari returned to Five-Star as a coach and had Garfi in his corner as he climbed the NCAA’s coaching ranks.

"Without him being a part of my life, I would have never had the opportunities I had," Calipari said. "Hopefully I made him proud."

Be sure to go read the full piece.