In the one-and-done era, schools don’t often get enough credit for accomplishing their real goal of graduating their students and preparing them for the real world.
With UK’s lifetime scholarship in place, former players have the opportunity to return to school to finish their degree no matter when they leave school to chase their dreams in the pros.
In his press conference this past week, John Calipari shared that Terrence Jones is the newest ex-Cat to return to campus.
“I just talked to Terrence Jones, who is coming back to campus to start academics,” said Calipari. “He was here two years, so now what’s great, he’s going through this process of trying to get back into the NBA. You always have a backstop. You can come back. Your education is paid for.”
After winning a national championship in 2012, Jones declared for the NBA Draft and was selected 18th overall by the Houston Rockets. After eight seasons away from Lexington playing professionally, Jones is back to finish his degree.
Calipari has always been a major supporter of player’s rights and thinks it’s great that they can return to school on these lifetime scholarships. Calipari also discredited those who say players don't care about their academics because of the one-and-done rule, saying that every player that’s left UK has done so with a good academic standing.
Terrence isn’t the first player to return, and he certainly won’t be the last with such a great opportunity on the table. Former No. 1 pick John Wall returned last summer as well, saying, “When our career is over, when we retire and the basketball stops bouncing, we still have the find something else to do.”
Jones last played in the NBA earlier this season for two games with the Houston Rockets, where he only averaged a point a game. He currently plays overseas for the TNT KaTropa of the Philippine Basketball Association, where he’s averaging 35.3 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists through four games.