John Calipari came to Kentucky with a mission to make men's basketball the gold standard it was for so many years, but had fallen from grace for almost a decade before Cal's arrival.
Since his first year in Lexington, UK has become the standard for how a players-first program is run. Now, Cal is reflecting on his UK vision in a piece at CoachCal.com.
In it, Calipari goes over what his initial plan for Kentucky basketball was, how the journey unfolded, what had to change, recruiting the best of the best, building a winner on the court and in the classroom, what it means to be a Wildcat, and last but certainly not least, #NoFlipFlop.
One of the biggest ways that this program sets itself apart is that when you're here you are held to a different standard. You are seen as role models on this campus and in this community, and it's important to use this platform to help others.
One of the three pillars we have here is to have a kind heart. Part of that is taking an extra step to help improve the day of others. We held telethons in 2010 and 2012 that each raised at least $1 million for victims of natural disasters. At Kentucky, it's about more than just basketball, and that follows you after your time here. That's why John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins both donated $1 million to charity from their first post-rookie deals.
This place isn't for everybody, but when you come here it's a brotherhood and a lifestyle. We talk about being a servant leader: being about each other more than yourself. That's really hard for an 18-year-old.