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John Calipari and Kahlil Whitney release statement

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“I hope he goes on and does his thing and makes us all proud.”

Kahlil Whitney Greg Goins - Sea of Blue

The Kentucky Wildcats are starting to hit their stride, but they’ll have to do so without one of their top recruits for the remainder of the season.

On Friday, former five-star and top-15 recruit Kahlil Whitney announced his decision to leave the school to pursue other opportunities.

Not long after, Whitney and ahead coach John Calipari released statements on the freshman’s decision to leave after appearing in 18 games this season.

“I can’t express enough the respect I have for Coach Calipari,” Whitney said. “I’ve learned a lot from him in my short time at UK and will take much of his wisdom with me as I continue on my journey.

“I am forever thankful for my time at Kentucky and for all the people I’ve met along the way. I thank the coaches, my teammates, tutors, training staff, advisers and professors for working with and believing in me.

“I wish Big Blue Nation all the best! I’ve heard your voices and positive messages, and I thank you for your continued love and support. I will always be cheering for UK’s success and for all my brothers on the court.”

According to the press release UK sent out, Whitney notified the school of his decision on Friday.

“First and foremost, Kahlil is a great kid,” Calipari said. “This is tough for me because Kahlil is a tremendous person who is going to do great things. I certainly don’t want to see him go because I wanted to continue to coach him, but I understand his decision and, as we always do here, will support him in whatever way we can.

“As I told Kahlil today, I hope he goes on and does his thing and makes us all proud. I know he will stay in touch with us and I know our fans will continue to support him as he takes this next step.”

The release was also careful to state that Whitney is leaving the school and has not decided if he will transfer to another program, so perhaps the freshman is considering going pro.