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NFL great Cris Carter praises John Calipari

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Calipari has gained some recognition from a star athlete that wasn’t even known for playing basketball, but he knows Cal well nonetheless.

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John Calipari is known for having some rather unlikely friendships (Drake, Jay-Z, LeBron James and his close friends), and we got some insight into another unlikely friendship that Cal has at his celebrity softball game in Lexington on Sunday. Cris Carter, Hall of Fame wide receiver who played in the NFL from 1987-2002, was one of the participants in the game, and spoke about how great Coach Cal is.

Their relationship dates all the way back to Carter’s childhood, when Calipari coached him at a Five Star basketball camp.

"I’m a fan of Coach Cal and the way he does things, the way he treats people," Carter said. "I was in love with him as a coach. He was one of the people that helped steer me toward football, so I always give him a little bit of credit for that."

Carter’s praise continued, as he talked about how great of a future coach he knew Cal would be after being around him when he was younger.

"You don’t run into people like him in your life by accident...He was a star then. Just the time that he took with me, you could tell he was going to be a star."

Carter has not only been impressed by Calipari, but also by Kentucky as a whole, and he plans to spend more time taking in Kentucky basketball.

"Now I’ve got some time in my schedule I’ll be seeing a lot of Kentucky basketball," he said. "So I’m glad to be here, be able to help out. The cause is great (referencing the intent of the charity game; to donate to Louisiana flood victims). The program is great. The Kentucky blue thing - I’m an Ohio State guy, but this is real. There’s only a few programs in the country that have the realness, the tradition of it and the quality."

It’s great to hear that an NFL legend like Carter thinks so highly of Calipari, and it’s great to know that he’ll be spending more time in Lexington.

Maybe Calipari can convince him to make a visit to Commonwealth Stadium, and go on some recruiting trips with Mark Stoops.