John Calipari is a happy camper right now.
On Wednesday, Calipari watched as star freshman PJ Washington announced his return to UK for a sophomore season. The Texas native enjoyed a solid freshman season, then declared for the NBA Draft and had a good showing at the combine.
That had many experts expecting Washington to stay in the draft, but when decision time came, he made the call to return to UK for the 2018-19 season.
After the decision, Washington issued a statement through UK about his return to UK.
“I want to thank everyone for their support during this process and allowing me to take my time for one of the most important decisions of my life,” Washington said. “The plan all along was to get all the information that was out there to make the best decision for me and my family. I’ve always had a list of goals that I want to accomplish in my life, and one of the most important ones is making it to the NBA. That hasn’t changed at all.
“But another one of my goals is to win a national championship in college, and that’s what I want to do next season at Kentucky. I believe with who we have coming back and who we have coming in that we can do that. I learned a lot during my freshman season and became a better player, but I think I’ve only scratched the surface. With everything I’ve learned, I want to lead this team and compete for a championship. I can’t wait to get back on campus and get this thing started again.”
Calipari also spoke about getting his talented big man back for another year, something he’s very excited about.
“This is what the NBA Draft rules are in place for,” Calipari said. “PJ was able to test the waters and get all the information that was available to him to make the best decision for him and his family. Whatever PJ decided we were going to support, but I’m really happy with the decision he’s come to because I really want to coach PJ for another season. I know how good of a player he is and think he showed it at times last season, but I’m looking forward to seeing him grow and build on it. What I love most about this decision is why PJ is doing it. He told me he wants to come back to be a leader, to grow and to drag his teammates with him as we try to do something special.”
Cal added this on Twitter, which has to excite ever UK fan:
Happy for you, kid. Let's go chase something special. https://t.co/33D0gVIbLM— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) May 30, 2018
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