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Jabari Smith says he always wanted to go to Kentucky

What could have been.

2022 NBA Summer League - Houston Rockets v San Antonio Spurs Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

Jabari Smith Jr. was one of the, if not the, biggest star in college basketball this past season. After putting up impressive numbers for the Auburn Tigers, Smith is now putting together an impressive Summer League with the Houston Rockets after being selected third overall in the NBA Draft at the end of last month.

Smith was a five-star recruit in the class of 2021 and selected the Tigers over several other programs in the SEC. Unfortunately Kentucky was not one of those schools.

To add a little more salt to the wound, Smith sat down with Taylor Rooks of Bleacher Report and mentioned that he “always” wanted to play for John Calipari and UK.

“When I grew up, I was always watching Kentucky,” Smith told Rooks. “Like Anthony Davis, Karl-Anthony Towns, De’Aron Fox, Malik Monk, all of those people, I was always watching them like that was where I wanted to go. When I was younger I was always saying I wanted to go to Kentucky, that’s the school I’m gonna go to. But when I got older and teams started recruiting me — like I had offers from Georgia, Auburn, LSU, when I started getting offers like that I’m like ‘Kentucky, where you at?”

There was some talk earlier this offseason about the staff needing to get involved earlier with recruits, and this is the perfect example. Good thing changes seem to have been made for classes in the future.