With Derek Willis, Dominique Hawkins, and Mychal Mulder set to graduate this weekend, John Calipari sat down at his desk and penned a piece for his website about the importance of education in the one-and-done era, with an emphasis on lifetime scholarships. Those lifetime scholarships, he says, are a great insurance policy for the one-and-done players; and it doesn’t have to be done immediately.
Take Marcus Camby for instance. Camby will graduate from UMass on May 12 and Calipari will be there to watch him receive his diploma, some 21 years after he coached him in Amherst. Kentucky’s had plenty who have done and are doing the same as Camby.
Cal’s piece begins with a little bit about his thoughts on the NBA rule, and then ends with this:
I have to say this, because it gets overlooked with anything that is said about Kentucky basketball: We’ve graduated 17 players now in eight years (every kid who was eligible to graduate by the end of their senior year, by the way), including three players who graduated in three years, two of which are playing in the NBA. Our kids leave in good academic standing. They’re in class the second semester because it’s a must if they want that lifetime scholarship. And you know what? They do. We’ve had an Academic Progress Rate, which evaluates a team’s academic eligibility, retention and graduation rate over a four-year period, in the top 10 percent in the country for each of the past three years. It’s what we believe in. [CoachCal.com]
Give it all a read here and then forward it to Mohamed Bamba if you can.