Early into Calipari’s term at Kentucky, he found himself in a position to try and convince the KHSAA state champion to join the Wildcats as a walk-on (or scholarship player if they all weren’t filled). That kid and former Mr. Basketball was Elisha Justice, who at the time was committed to Rick Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals in the infamous ‘preferred walk-on’ position.
Today, we learn that Pike County/Shelby Valley product Elisha Justice will transfer home to UPIKE (formerly Pikeville College). Justice leaves behind 2 full years of college at UofL in order to be closer to family for his junior and senior years.
Elisha is a close family friend – my uncle coached him in AAU and high school ball since around the age of 10 or 11. I was lucky enough to watch this kid progress and succeed at every level. I’m really happy he got to see a Final Four as a player and wish him the best of luck. I’ve been hearing rumors all year about him heading home after this season, and I think it will be for the best. He will see a lot more playing time and he needs to be closer to his family at this time. He has always been one of my favorite players to watch. (And thanks to KSR, he was named the ‘hottest male athlete in the world’ at one point.)
As much as I would have loved to have seen him in blue, I understood his decision to stick to a commitment to Pitino and his hopes of building the connections and guidance necessary to go into a coaching career after school. Hopefully he has made the proper strides and can get where he wants to go once his days as a player are over.
Card Chronicle posted this Facebook update from Russ Smith as proof (I’ve heard transfer rumors about Russ, as well, but he seems happy after that Final Four run)
Best of luck to you, Elisha. I’ll still be cheering for him. Hope he brings another NAIA national championship to Pikeville.