Nazr Mohammed will go down as one of my favorite Wildcats ever; in fact, growing up, he was my favorite Wildcat. I’ll never forget meeting Nazr at Kentucky Korner as a middle schooler and shyly asking him to sign his Sports Illustrated cover and THE NAZ poster, which both hung on my wall until they were so faded you could barely see his signature. I still have his autographed basketball in my office.
Nazr just wrapped up a 17-year NBA career, which seems crazy when you remember what a project he was when he got to Kentucky. Rick Pitino made him run after the team bus to lose weight, for goodness’ sake. Since announcing his retirement a few weeks back, Nazr has been making the rounds at his old stomping grounds, coming to Lexington to host a free autograph signing, and most recently, stopping in Oklahoma City, where he played from 2011-2012.
While in Oklahoma City, Nazr helped another former Wildcat: Dakari Johnson, who posted a picture of the two on Instagram earlier this afternoon. Dakari will play in the D-League this season, and could learn a lot from Nazr, who made an entire career off being a backup big guy and locker room leader. Now, he has the chance to be the perfect mentor.