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Who will wear the honorary #44?


John Calipari has given us 24 hours to guess where this custom #44 basketball jersey will be sent. As mentioned in the video he posted today, Coach Cal has sent out a lot of UK gear (Lebron), but this time he wants us to guess the recipient of this particular jersey. The answer will be announced tomorrow on You can wait 24 hours and find out through Coach Cal himself, or you can join me in cracking the case. Here are a few of my philosophies:

Dan Issel
This would be the obvious choice. Issel is Kentucky’s all-time leading scorer, an NBA Hall of Fame player and coach, and his #44 hangs from the rafters at Rupp. Issel just declared bankruptcy and Coach Cal (being the giver that he is) could be offering clothing to the former Wildcat after seeing Dan frequenting the Lexington area Goodwill stores.

Chuck Hayes
Another former Kentucky #44, Chuck is one of the most beloved Wildcats of our generation. An honorary jersey sent to the current NBA star would be a tribute to his time at UK and another example of Coach Cal reaching out to former Wildcats.

Barack Obama
The 44th President of the United States of America and an avid fan of college basketball. If you recall, The President correctly picked UNC to win it all in his tourney bracket last March and later met the Tar Heels at The White House for tea and Texas Style Ping Pong. Are we buttering him up for a UK National Championship?  Who wouldn’t want to see the Cats in The White House?  Would Demarcus Cousins smile?  Are jorts considered under-dressed?  Would Razor plug his native Alaska in Obama’s presence?  This is a likely option as Obama continues to secretly find a seat on the Kentucky bandwagon.

Gimel Martinez
Another former #44 at the University of Kentucky and arguably the greatest mustache in NCAA basketball history. An unlikely choice, but definitely deserving of tribute.

The Fake Gimel Martinez
Why not? A basketball jersey is the only thing missing in Fake Gimel’s home memorabilia collection of lightsabers, Captain Kirk bookends, Chewbacca masks, and Xena: Warrior Princess blowup dolls.  I think I speak on behalf of all of us when I say that Fake Gimel is very deserving of Cal’s gift.

Tim Sypher
Is Coach Cal offering Tim Sypher a spot with UK? Pitino loved him, he is obviously loyal to his employer, he is an unbelievable wingman and he is…yep, 44 years old.

Billy Gillispie
Calipari’s title as head basketball coach at the University of Kentucky would not have been made possible without the help of one man… Billy Clyde. Cal would still be at Memphis had Billy G just made a half-ass effort to be UK’s coach. As a way of saying thanks for being a failure, Coach Cal sends Gillispie the jersey that he introduced just last year, in the number 44, commemorating the number of times he was denied at Two Keys this summer.

Pat Forde
Forty-four or “Forde for” – as in, we all know who Forde is for. During Calipari’s meeting with Pitino in his Louisville home before accepting the UK job, Coach Cal accidentally saw Pat Forde come out of the master bedroom wearing nothing but one of Rick’s old St. Dominic High School jerseys and red panties. Cal couldn’t help but notice that the old high school uniform was way too small for Pat, and if Forde continues to sleep with Pitino, he will need a much larger jersey to wear while cooking breakfast and getting the paper. An odd gift indeed, but one that should get plenty of wear and tear. (Photoshop coming soon? Don’t dare me.)

There you have it.  The most likely (and unlikely) recipients of the honorary #44 jersey.  Will it be Fake Gimel?  Is Calipari putting clothing on Issel’s back? Barack Obama is a likely choice.  I guess we’ll know for sure tomorrow.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR