After last night’s win over Northwood, Coach Cal told media members at the post-game press conference about a text message he received from a former player earlier in the day.
“One of the greatest texts I’ve had since I’ve been a coach here,” he said of the message. “It wasn’t from John Wall. It wasn’t from DeMarcus. It wasn’t from Brandon or Eric Bledsoe. I talked to Michael Kidd today because he plays tonight; wasn’t Anthony; Darius and I talked three or four days ago, but none of those guys; not Derrick Rose.”
The text message he received didn’t come from any of the millionaires Calipari created through coaching. It came from a player who barely saw time on the floor but still wanted to think Cal for everything he has done for him on and off the court.
The text came from our boy Eloy and this is how it read:
“I want to wish you luck and I want to thank you for everything you’ve done for me. I know I didn’t play a lot, but all the things I’ve learned, it’s helped me to where I’m trying to go, and I just want to thank you.”
“That means something,” Calipari said of Eloy’s heartfelt message. “That means he knows, yes, I want him to play more, but we care about him, that this is more than just the guys who are playing. I want Jon Hood to feel that way. People around him might be mad he’s not playing more. That’s how it is. But I want him to know we care and that we’re trying to make him better.”
We occasionally joke about Calipari’s “It’s not about basketball for me, it’s about helping families” quote, but stories like these put it into perspective. Cal really isn’t just creating more millionaires than a Wall Street firm, he’s changing the lives of everyone who walks through that door and gives it their all for him on the basketball court. It’s one thing for Anthony Davis or John Wall to thank Calipari, but like he said, it is just as meaningful (if not more) when a guy like Eloy Vargas thanks him for the impact he made on his life.