Moments after UK officially announced he will depart for the NBA, Malik Monk used the popular Players’ Tribune to deliver a message to Big Blue Nation.
“Y’all really helped me through it, in a big way, and lent me your hand when I needed one. Y’all treated me like family,” he wrote. “And I’ll consider y’all family for life.”
Monk also used the popular website to thank his teammates, coaches, blood family and everyone who supported him from northeast Arkansas. He tells the story of growing up in “The Woodz” and hoping others in the area will see his success and it will inspire them to chase their own dreams, whether that be in basketball or other walks of life.
Of course, John Calipari gets a lot of love as well. Monk details what Calipari’s message to him was during his recruitment and how Cal promised to make him the best version of Malik Monk, not the second coming of someone else:
“I don’t see you as the next anybody,” he said. “I see you as yourself. You’re Malik Monk. I can’t make you many promises – but if you come to Kentucky, I can promise you this: We’re going to find out who that is.”
Throughout our conversation, I don’t think Coach said “point guard” once. I don’t think he said “shooting guard” once. I don’t think he talked about other Kentucky players … I don’t think he talked about other “Cal guys” … and, though he definitely could’ve, and I definitely would’ve been impressed, I don’t even think he name-dropped a single All-Star. Coach just told me that he wanted me to come to Kentucky – and that he wanted me to become the best possible version of myself.
And that’s the moment when I knew for sure that I wanted to become a Wildcat.
Give it all a read here.