Five minutes before John Calipari took the court with his Dominican Republic National Team for a game, he picked up the phone and gave Joker Phillips a call. As Joker told the story to the media today, Cal asked Joker to put the phone on speaker and hand it to the young man next to him. That young man was a star athlete in town for the weekend for a visit with the UK football program.
It’s not something Calipari had to do. A football recruiting visit shouldn’t have even been on his mind. But Cal took a second to pick up the phone, minutes before a basketball game, to say hello to a young man I’m sure he’s never met, just to lend a hand to Joker and the football program.
“That’s big,” Joker Phillips said. “How many coaches would do that?”
“He and I have a great working relationship.”
“We’re selling everything there is to sell about Kentucky, we’re selling to our football recruits.”
“Our basketball program is one of those selling points.”