Former Kentucky star Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has never been one to talk a lot.
That being said, Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski was able to snag the current Charlotte Hornet for a 30-minute interview on The Vertical Podcast. I personally encourage all of Big Blue Nation to give it a listen.
During the interview, Kidd-Gilchrist opens up about a variety of topics. He includes his personal experiences at Kentucky, which includes the 2012 national championship, and also talks about the difficulties of his childhood, growing up with speech impediment and losing his father.
Gilchrist admits that it wasn't easy at all being the shy kid with a bit of a stutter, playing for one of the largest stages in college basketball. He also acknowledges that the fans made it all worth it.
"It isn't normal," Kidd-Gilchrist said of his college experience at Kentucky. "The attention we got was crazy. At first, it was fun. Autographs and pictures, stuff like that. I was like, 'I can get used to this,' but mid-year, I was like, 'man I'm tired of this.' But, they're the best fans in the world. I'd do anything for those fans."
To hear that is beyond heartwarming, coming from one of our favorites to ever put on the Kentucky blue. Kidd-Gilchrist is always going to be amongst the more humbled and pure individuals that you could ever get to know. I'm sure he knows that we, the fans, love him just as much.
Gilchrist also touched up on the experience of bringing home that illustrious National Championship, and just what it was like being a part of that historically good team.
"It was a great team we had. Great, great team," Kidd-Gilchrist said. "I wasn't selfish, Ant [Anthony Davis] wasn't selfish. Our coach, an amazing coach, all around."
Selfish was the last word that could ever be associated with that group of individuals, especially Kidd-Gilchrist and Anthony Davis. When the top two picks of the NBA Draft took the 4th and 5th fewest shots on their team respectively, that's called not being selfish. It feels like yesterday watching that team go 38-2; and yes, it was a great, great team indeed.
Gilchrist also touches in on a lot of his personal struggles growing up. Dealing with the death of his father at such a young age, and having to make a name for himself throughout that. He also goes deep into his struggles with stuttering and speech impediment, and how speech pathologist Meg Shake really helped him get over the hump.
One of the last things Gilchrist discusses is the improvement of his formerly lackadaisical jump shot, and who in particular helped him master it.
"But that one summer I listened to one voice and one voice only, and that was Mark Price."
You can listen to the full interview here. I can vouch for myself and say how great it was to hear Michael Kidd-Gilchrist talk about Kentucky again and just how much the program means to him.