Drake didn’t just stroll into Rupp Arena on Saturday as a multi-million dollar rap star, one of the most famous names in the current world of music. He came as a friend of Coach Cal’s… a friend who has been inspired like many others by John Calipari. Drake’s appearance as a coach in the Kentucky alumni game upped the cool factor for potential future players and once again proved just how ahead of the ball Calipari is when it comes to this sort of thing. But Drake also took the time to make sure a story that hasn’t been told very often was shared with the folks in Kentucky:
“Kentucky has given me a real home,” said Drake who served as the unofficial “Y” during one of the timeouts. “I actually dropped out of high school, which I don’t know if a lot of people know that, but I dropped out of high school. I never really got like a school experience. When Coach Cal asked me to come here for the first Midnight Madness, it just really gave me a sense of school, a sense of love, a sense of belonging to something. That’s why I feel like I belong in the UK family and that’s why I’m graduating high school this month. I’m definitely inspired by UK.” (h/t CoachCal.com)
For those who may be a little older or just don’t necessarily relate with a guy like Drake, it’s important to understand that it does mean something and it does in fact resonate with the younger portion of the fan base. I think perhaps the best part of Calipari’s effort to include guys like Drake in the Kentucky family, is that he hasn’t neglected the older and more historic important Kentucky basketball figures as a result. Calipari made sure Wah Wah Jones was in attendance yesterday, as well as always trying to make sure Joe B. Hall stays involved.
I have no idea how much his visit to Midnight Madness had to do with him going back to school, but either way– kudos to Drake for doing so, and kudos to Calipari for making him feel a part of something.
“It may not mean nothin’ to ya’ll, but understand somethin’ was done for him.”