Happy 21st birthday to KSR favorite Willie Cauley-Stein. It seems like only yesterday Willie came into our lives, turning heads on the court and drawing beautiful pictures on the sidewalks of Olathe, Kansas. I don’t know if you’ve heard this, but Willie also played football in high school, excelling as a wide receiver before focusing solely on basketball. Now he’s one of the best big men in college basketball, and turned down the chance to be a first round pick in the NBA Draft last season to return to school to help the Cats win their ninth National Championship.
From his always-changing hairstyles to his flamboyant clothes and unique off-the-court interests, Willie is a true original. Now a junior, Willie is really in his element at Kentucky, always a treat to talk to after games, except if he gives you his patented “that was a really dumb question” look. Last week, Willie said he’s fully recovered from his leg injury, and is cleared to play. Calipari said he’s looking forward to Willie joining the team in practice, although I’m sure I’m not alone when I say part of me really will miss seeing which crazy shirt he’ll wear to games next. I’m not sure anything can top the blue paisley number from the Final Four.
Enjoy your day, Willie. If you do indulge, remember, two Advil and a big glass of water before bed will make the morning after a lot less painful.