In-person recruiting has returned, and the Kentucky men’s basketball program has wasted no time getting its top targets scheduled for official and unofficial visits throughout the month of June and beyond.
Among the first high-profile prospects to arrive on campus this month? 2022 five-star guard commit Skyy Clark, who took an official visit to Lexington this past weekend.
Following Clark’s trip to UK, the five-star prospect sat down with KSR to discuss his time touring the facilities and meeting with the coaches and players, among other highlights. He also broke down his top recruiting targets in the rising senior class and potential name, image and likeness rule changes.
Check out the full Q&A session below:
You’re now back home after your big official to Kentucky, how did things go?
It couldn’t have went better. The trip was amazing. Thank you to Coach Cal, the staff and the entire team for letting us come out and have an amazing time.
It was UK’s first time hosting a major visitor since COVID. What were some of the things you did? Did things kind of feel normal for everyone?
It’s the summer so there weren’t many students on campus, but it was good getting out there. I took a tour of Joe Craft (Center), took a tour of Rupp (Arena), went to Coach Cal’s house and ate with the team and coaching staff, it was a good time. We went bowling right after Coach Cal’s house. A few of the guys, we went bowling.
What’s the overall vibe of the team right now and you being a part of it next year?
It looks like they’re clicking really well. There’s no groups on the team or anything, everybody was just vibing with each other. It was really good to see. I think this year’s team is going to be really good.
Cal posted that the team’s first practice was today, but they’ve been doing open runs for a few weeks now. Did you get to see them play at all?
No I didn’t. When I got there this weekend, they were just doing camps. They were doing a Father-Son Camp on Friday and Saturday, so I didn’t get to see any runs or anything.
What does it mean to you that they do camps like that and community events, going out to different parts of the state for outreach opportunities?
It means a lot because that’s something I want to do, that’s something I’m really big on. I want to give back to the community because they’re the ones that are supporting us, so why not come back and support them? It’s amazing to see. I grew up going to camps like that, so I can’t wait to get there and do those camps, as well.
What was it like being around the new staff? What were the vibes like with Coach O and Coach Chin?
They’re amazing. It’s hard not to be yourself around them because they’re amazing people and the vibe they bring is insane. They’re super hilarious; Coach O loves telling his jokes, Coach Chin loves clowning him for his jokes. They’re just really good people, same with Coach Bru (Flint) and Coach Jai (Lucas).
What was it like seeing Cal in person for the first time since committing? What did you guys talk about and what is his vision for you as a point guard?
It was really good seeing him in person, Zoom was getting kind of wack [laughs]. Coach Cal, he showed his personality; he’s a really funny person and a really good person, super cool. I also met Tyler (Ulis) when I toured the Joe Craft Center, he was in the weight room and I got to talk to him for a little bit.
Coach Cal, he was talking about, ‘If you come here and put in the work, you lock in for however many months you’re here for, you’ll get what you want.’ He said he has his players’ backs 110%.
What did you talk to Tyler Ulis about and what was it like seeing him on campus?
It was really good. Coach Cal said he was going to be back on campus working out for two months, so that was good to see they let their players come back. In the locker room, they have one locker open for any alumni that they can use, so that was really dope to see. Tyler, I just asked him what his biggest challenge was at Kentucky and he said he didn’t really have no challenges because he was confident in his game. He said, “If you come in here, lock in for six months and listen to Coach Cal and the rest of the coaching staff, you’ll get whatever you want out of it. What you put in is what you get.”
Do you share that same confidence?
For sure. I put in the work to have that kind of confidence. Yes sir.
What was it like wearing that jersey for the first time?
It felt perfect, I love that color blue on me. It’s the best color blue. It felt like the perfect fit, I’m more than happy with my decision.
What was it like meeting the fans again?
When I got here, I met a few fans, took a picture with two of them and I talked with a few. It’s just good getting to know the fans before I get there, they show a lot of love and really love their players. I love the city as well. Me and ZZ (Clark), after we went bowling, we rode scooters around downtown Lexington, we just love the vibe out there.
That 2022 class is loaded with top talent, and you’re close with a lot of them. Who are you recruiting with you to UK?
I know I can’t get all of them, but if I can get two or three of them, I’d be happy. Dereck Lively, Shaedon Sharpe, Chris Livingston, Brandon Miller, Jalen Duren and Jaden Bradley, amongst others. Me and Coach Cal, Coach Chin and Coach O all keep an open line of communication on guys that either want to come or plan on coming.
Have there been discussions about the name, image and likeness rule changes with the Kentucky coaching staff? What would it mean to be able to earn money in college?
It would mean a lot because we’re the players and we’re bringing in revenue for the colleges. Knowing we could get something out of it in college, not a lot of players can make it to the big leagues after college, so getting paid while they’re in college is really good. Another good thing is, Coach Cal is all for it. He’s 100% for the idea and loves it too.
How is UK navigating that process?
We talked a little bit about it on Saturday, and I talked to one of the social media managers Saturday before we left. He gave the rundown on how to take advantage of social media, doing gatherings, stuff like that to make money.