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John Calipari opens up about emotional Quade Green transfer decision

He hugged me and said, ‘I love you Coach.’ I said, ‘I love you too.’

Troy v Kentucky
LEXINGTON, KY - NOVEMBER 20: John Calipari the head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats gives instructions to Quade Green #0 during the game against the Troy Torjans at Rupp Arena on November 20, 2017 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Transfers have been something Kentucky has gone through a lot in recent years.

However, never has Kentucky lost a key player in the middle of the season like they just did with Quade Green. After beginning the season in a competition for one of the starting guard spots, Green has seen his role decrease recently. He played in just eight minutes against UNC Greensboro, which was easily Kentucky’s best game of the season. Then, Green played in just 10 minutes in the overtime loss to Seton Hall, and he decided to transfer just days after the game.

To be fair, this is actually a good time for college players to decide if it’s time to find a new school. By transferring mid-semester, that will allow him to be eligible at his next school in the second semester of the 2019-20 season.

On Friday, head coach John Calipari met with the media to discuss the latest happenings around Kentucky Basketball, and Green was a big talking point. Calipari opened up about Green’s decision to transfer, how emotional the meeting was, and how he was open to Green playing in two more games before leaving.

“He (Green) just felt that he was in a situation he didn’t see that he could come back from. I met with the kid. He’s a great kid. I met with mom and dad, and mom was crying. It is disappointing for me when young people want to leave but he’ll be treated the same way (as former UK transfers).

“It was a talk. We were in there for a little while. He hugged me and said, ‘I love you Coach.’ I said, ‘I love you too.’ It’s just different here. I even told him, ‘Why don’t you stay two weeks and play two games and if you want to leave, leave?’”

In the end, Green thought it was best to leave now, and he has the full support of Calipari.

“This is about them (the players),” said Calipari. “It’s not about me and the program that way. This is about each individual guy when it comes time for a decision like that.”

Say what you want about Calipari’s coaching or recruiting, but you cannot question the love he has for his players. He wants nothing but the best for Green and is ready to do whatever is needed, even though Green will no longer be wearing a Kentucky jersey.

There’s far more to life than sports, and Calipari understands that better than most.