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UK offer “meant the world” to Jaden Hardy; arguably the best SG in his class

Hardy was ecstatic to get a visit from John Calipari and scholarship offer from Kentucky.

Basketball: USA Men’s Junior National Team Minicamp Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats are seemingly always in the running for the nation’s top recruits. They’ve built a culture of excellence that first started upon the arrival of head coach John Calipari.

Since Calipari, UK has seen NBA stars like Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall come through their program. High school recruits see that are understand the strong culture that’s been instilled in the Kentucky program.

Five-star recruit Jaden Hardy is no different. The seven-best ranked player in the Class of 2021, Coach Cal is getting his recruiting in early, visiting the junior’s practice. His mere presence alone was enough to resonate with the five-star guard.

In an interview with the Herald-Leader, Hardy’s coach opened up about how Calipari’s visit left a strong impression on the young guard.

“When Coach Calipari walks in a gym and comes to see a kid like Jaden — I can honestly tell you, it meant the world to him. It was something that he takes very serious. And something that he really wanted and something that he’s been working for. It’s an offer, but — for these kids — it’s a big accomplishment. He was very humbled. He was very respectful. He was excited that Coach came to see him in person. It was very nice to watch.”

The 6-4 combo guard is the best player in the class from Nevada, and the best overall at his position. Heck, Rivals reporter Corey Evans thinks Hardy may be the only ‘elite’ shooting guard in this class.

“Jaden Hardy is the top shooting guard in that class, and it’s hard to make an argument for who else is elite at the ‘2’ guard spot,” Evans told the Herald-Leader. “I think Kentucky realizes that. I think they understand, ‘Hey, we need to get going on Jaden Hardy, because if we miss …’

“Kentucky is known for their ‘2’ guards. They’re known for their scorers. And if they miss on a guy like Hardy, where do they go at the ‘2’ guard spot a year or two from now?”

How can you average over 25 points, eight rebounds and seven assists as a sophomore and not gain nationwide attention? One can only dream of what Hardy may be able to do his final season in high school in 2020-21, assuming he doesn’t reclassify.

Let’s hope that attention from Coach Cal will be enough to get him interested in UK. Hardy has already received an offer from UK, yet hasn’t been to Lexington on an official visit.

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