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What does a Kentucky Basketball virtual visit look like?

Basketball and football recruits can’t visit college campuses or host coaches in their homes right now due to the coronavirus pandemic, so programs are holding “virtual visits” to deliver their pitches. The Kentucky coaching staff has already held a virtual visit with five-star forward Paolo Banchero, and today, they’ll do the same with five-star point guard Kennedy Chandler. Purdue grad transfer Matt Haarms has also expressed interest in taking virtual tours of his final ten schools, including Kentucky.

After seeing how John Calipari has fully embraced the Zoom platform, I started thinking about what a Kentucky Basketball virtual visit would look like. Here’s what I came up with.

We start in John Calipari’s home office, where Cal exchanges greetings with the five-star recruit of the day, jokes about his beard, and casually gestures at the magazine covers on his walls. After catching up on how the recruit and his family are coping during the pandemic, Calipari shifts his focus to the presentation, specifically, Kentucky’s track record of putting success in the pros. With Ellen’s help, Cal has figured out virtual backgrounds on Zoom and like most people, overdoes it.

“Oh wow,” Cal marvels. “Where am I, the NBA Draft Green Room? Look at all those guys. And here’s the crazy part — this isn’t even fully updated! Mychal Mulder should be up there in a Golden State Warriors jersey too. He came here from JuCo, stayed two years, and now he’s on a team with Steph Curry. Imagine that.”

“[Insert recruit’s name here], do you know how many guys we’ve had go to the NBA? I bet you don’t. Just guess. THIRTY-EIGHT draft picks over ten seasons. About to be five more with the guys that just announced. That’s way more than any other school. Of those 38, 29 have gone in the first round. That’s guaranteed money. TWENTY-ONE went in the lottery.”

[VIRTUAL BACKGROUND CHANGE]

“Hey, there’s my man AD. Wow, look how much younger I am in this. We age in dog years here. Look at how much gray I have now! I look like an old man. Anyway, Anthony was one of three first-round picks we’ve had and did you know he took the fifth most shots on that team that won the title? And now he’s an NBA All-Star, Olympic gold medalist, max contract after max contract playing alongside LeBron James on the Lakers. And he didn’t score a point until 15 minutes left in the national championship game.”

“Now, when you add up all the salaries of the guys I’ve coached at Kentucky in the pros, we’re approaching $2 billion in NBA contracts. That’s not even counting the shoe ones. Did you hear that? BILLION with a B — wait a second, how do I change –”

[VIRTUAL BACKGROUND CHANGE]

“TWO BILLION DOLLARS!!! Hahaha. Wait, where’s Palmer or McGruff, they can be that cat thing he had…well, I can’t find them. So, that number goes over $2.26 billion when you count in the guys I’ve coached throughout my career like Derrick Rose. In this last season alone, my guys made more than $255 million.”

[VIRTUAL BACKGROUND CHANGE]

“Now, get your mom and dad in here for this part. You’ve probably been hearing a lot about the new G-League development program. You may have even talked to Rod Strickland about it. He used to work here and he’s a great friend of mine. If you come here, we’re going to be invested in you as a person and a player. You’ll get a lifetime scholarship and we will be here every day to make sure you’re getting what you need to be prepared to take the next step, from tutors to nutrition, all of it. So many guys have come back to work on their degrees. John Wall is doing online classes right now to finish his. I Zoomed with him yesterday.”

[VIRTUAL BACKGROUND CHANGE]

“We’re also going to teach you how to be a servant leader. Every year I make sure my guys give back to the community, whether it’s our annual Thanksgiving and Christmas meals with the Salvation Army, our partnership with Kroger to feed families affected by the pandemic, or just making somebody’s day a little bit brighter.”

“What happens in the G-League if you don’t perform right away? You think the NBA’s going to draft you? No. You’re done. Those are grown men. At Kentucky you’ll have the time to grow as a player and a person and get an education. We’re not going to throw you away after one year.”

“Now, lemme say this…”

[VIRTUAL BACKGROUND CHANGE]

“Drinking, clubbing, smoking? You’re not doing that here. This place isn’t for funsies. This is the real deal. If you want to drink, club, chase, you go somewhere else. This is hard. Every day you’ll play against the top competition and I will not be easy on you. You’ll have the greatest fans in college basketball but they demand the best. Rupp Arena will be packed to the rafters every single game and they’ll see if you pee down your leg. ‘But I saw all the people and I smelled the popcorn and –‘ No. People line up for free tickets to a practice here. A practice! If you’re not ready for that, you can go somewhere else. This isn’t for everyone. It just isn’t.”

“Now, what are your questions for me? I’ve got nothing but time until I gotta hop on a call with my friend Bill. You know, the former President. He’s coming on my Facebook show next week.”

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

5 Comments for What does a Kentucky Basketball virtual visit look like?



  1. Go_Wildcats_Go
    4:55 pm April 16, 2020 Permalink

    Probably pretty spot on!



  2. crazycatfan65
    5:13 pm April 16, 2020 Permalink

    Mrs. TT, you nailed that right on.



  3. JASUN74
    5:13 pm April 16, 2020 Permalink

    Haha. Very well done Mr’s Tyler Thompson! You’re the best. Thank you for everything you do and all the time you put into this. I hope you and your family are making this time as special as it can be, I really believe all this turns out to be a gift and just maybe we can become better human beings. take care of yourself. That goes for everyone who reads this as well! Go Cats!



  4. CrystalBall
    5:28 pm April 16, 2020 Permalink

    Wonder if the COVID-19 virus is hiding in that beard.



  5. Looother
    11:22 pm April 16, 2020 Permalink

    Nice post, Mrs TT…