You know all about Noel, Goodwin, and Poythress by now, and if you didn’t know much about Willy Cauley-Stein before, you’ve probably gotten to know him a little better after his recent YouTube shenanigans with Kyle Wiltjer. Eric Lindsay from CoachCal.com, however, has started a five-part “Meet the Wildcats” series, featuring each of the five newcomers to John Calipari’s squad this upcoming season. The first profile posted on Coach Cal’s website is on five year senior transfer Julius Mays. Mays is probably the Kentucky player who we have talked about the least here on KSR in the last few months, but his shooting ability and Division I experience could give him a critical role on next year’s team.
We’ve already linked this article previously on Mays, in relation to how he was not initially interested in the bright lights of Kentucky before deciding that it was actually a great fit for him, but give it a full read if you haven’t already done so. There are many interesting tidbits about Mays that I did not previously know, such as the fact that Mays was friends with Marquis Teague in their days of high school and AAU basketball in Indiana, and it also confirmed the suspicion of many UK fans that he did indeed know Ryan Harrow well from NC State. It was Mays who actually hosted Harrow in a recruiting visit in Raleigh. The article explains that it was much more than a shot at an NBA career, or any of his ties to Teague or Harrow, that brought Mays to Kentucky. A Master’s program at UK, which will help Mays pursue another sports-related career if the NBA doesn’t work out, was instrumental in bringing the sharpshooter to Kentucky says Lindsay:
He could have stayed at Wright State and finished his college career, but he wanted his master’s degree in a sports-related field that Wright State didn’t offer. When it became apparent that UK had a program that Mays was interested in, it sealed the deal.
“I know I just want to work in sports,” Mays said of his future. “It’s what makes me happy. I feel like if I didn’t have a career in basketball after this, I feel like just being away from it I would have withdrawal. I feel like that’s the most fun for me.”
Critics will tell you Mays transferred to Kentucky because of Coach Cal’s penchant for putting players in the NBA, but Mays said that had little to do with his decision. He admits he has dreams of playing at the next level, but coming to UK was about much more than that.
“I’m realistic,” Mays said. “Every guy doesn’t get to go to the NBA. It’s a very few select guys. If I have the opportunity, I would really be blessed and would appreciate it, but even if I don’t, the opportunity to play here and build relationships in this community and build relationships with the coaching staff and teammates for a lifetime, you can’t beat that whether you go to the NBA or not.”
Mays earned a bachelors degree in Organizational Leadership at Wright State, and is now enrolled in the Sports Leadership Master’s program at UK. Mays, an unlikely NBA draft prospect, could prove to be an example of how Kentucky can help all types of players achieve their dreams, whatever they may be. Or maybe, Calipari will just work Jorts-like wonders on Mays and get him drafted.