After spending the 2017 spring semester with the Kentucky basketball team, Hamidou Diallo was supposed to be this team’s vocal leader. He’s been vocal on the bench, but not to his teammates.
Last week at South Carolina, Diallo voiced his displeasure to Coach Cal on the sideline after he was subbed out of the game. After going back and forth, Calipari and Diallo have reached an understanding.
“That’s just something that can’t happen. That’s something that’s been addressed,” Diallo said today. “Coming from me as a leader, I just gotta do better at that and I gotta know that coming into every game I can’t be talking back to my coach on the bench.”
“These guys, this is all new for all of them. It’s all new, and it’s hard to accept responsibility,” said Calipari. “We’ve got a young team that’s learning. They’re trying to figure this out and figure out who they are. It’s all part of it.”
Calipari has never gotten his feelings hurt when a player felt froggy on the bench. Diallo is not the first, nor will he be the last. Now that it’s happened, Diallo must use this lesson to mature as a basketball player and a team leader.
“It’s a growing process,” Diallo said. “I’m trying to do what the team needs me to do to get wins every night and that takes sacrifices on my game, but that’s what I did when I committed to come here. So I know that’s what I’m going to have to do. I’m going to have to keep digging in and keep getting better each and every day and just keep trying to play hard.”