I’ll admit that I’m a little surprised with the tepid national response UK’s Hoops for Haiti event has gathered since yesterday. Given the unique nature of it and the mind-blowing success that netted an amount 10 times the size of Disney’s donation and the same as China’s, I assumed there would be a little more press. Of course, getting public praise probably isn’t at the top of the list of “reasons you should give”. Nonetheless, the good-hearted faux-hawked one gave some love to UK today in his weekly recap of college basketball:
John Calipari used his celebrity and the strength of the Kentucky fan base to raise more than $1 million Sunday during a “Hoops for Haiti” telethon designed to aid relief efforts. The first-year UK coach organized the event in just two days. That he did it right in the middle of basketball season is a testament to his ability to multi-task and think big.
And I’ve always believed that was the most impressive thing about Calipari.
Yes, I know Calipari is a controversial figure and he brings many problems on himself. But regardless of what you think of the man, there’s no denying that he operates on a different level. I suppose it’s possible other coaches could create a relationship with the Chinese Basketball Association, spark a friendship with LeBron James, convince Drake to start attending UK games and hold a telethon that raises $1 million for a country in need, but Calipari is the only guy who has done all those things. So while there are probably better coaches in college basketball, I’ve long contended the sport has no better or bigger thinker than John Calipari.
This telethon is the latest example.
Calipari had an idea, and he acted on it.
And that’s the quality that makes him dangerous.
Or, in this case, helpful.
Nice words from our buddy at CBS. One thing, though, Gary. We don’t write 200 words around here. We just say “he gets it”. That’s all you really need to say.