Oscar Tshiebwe should have played for Kentucky in the fall of 2019. Everyone involved realizes that now. And in an interview with Anna Maria Tarullo earlier this week on BBN Tonight, Tshiebwe shared how he ultimately arrived in Lexington.
“I’ll be so happy to step on the court in Rupp Arena,” Tshiebwe said. “That’s my dream place, playing basketball. I’ll be so happy and I can’t wait to show these people what I can do to help this team.”
Oscar arrived in Lexington in January and participated in practices while watching the Wildcats struggle in a historically bad season. But he did help the team through his work in practice, and he continues to be a leader for those sticking around to play alongside him.
“You’ve got to be the example to everybody. You’ve got to be the hardest worker,” he said. “Just because you deserve something doesn’t mean they’re going to give it to you. Sometimes you need to go get it. You need to go snatch it from somebody’s hands.”
Tshiebwe is a rare former 5-star player to be in Lexington 2-3 years after being recruited there. Could that change with new transfer rules? Maybe. But if other players have a similar attitude to Oscar when they hit the portal, Coach Calipari may be able to clean up on the transfer market.
“I wanted to talk to Coach Cal. That’s the place I wanted to go. When I heard that Coach contacted me, I said, ‘Yes!’ The first thing I asked him was, ‘Do you still have a scholarship for me?’ Coach said, ‘We have your scholarship. Come on, son.’ I was like, ‘Yes!’”
Tshiebwe may be arriving a few years later than expected, but this may be just the right time for him to be playing for the Kentucky Wildcats.