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UMass to build a John Calipari statue

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A high honor for Coach Cal at the place that started his Hall of Fame career.

NCAA Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament-Kentucky vs Tennessee Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

John Calipari will be receiving one of the highest honors achievable in sports from the University of Massachusetts.

The school announced Monday they would be building a statue of Calipari as well as UMASS alums Marcus Camby, Julius Erving, and coach Jack Leaman outside the Mullins Center in Amherst.

“These four pillars of our men’s basketball program put Massachusetts Basketball on the map during their time in Amherst,” said director of athletics Ryan Bamford. “They are responsible for some of the most memorable moments in our program’s history, and we are thrilled to honor their legacies with this lasting tribute. We look forward to welcoming these Minuteman legends, their families and our fans back to campus this fall to celebrate this special ceremony together.”

Calipari coached the Minute Men for eight seasons and helped turn a losing program into one of the top programs in the nation. He posted a 193-71 record with five NCAA Tournament appearances, including a trip to the final four in 1996.

Calipari was the National Coach of the Year in 1996 in his final season at UMASS before taking the head coaching position with the New Jersey Nets.

The statue will be unveiled on September 11.