Fresh off his rookie season as a Charlotte Hornet, former Wildcat Nick Richards returned to Lexington yesterday and paid a visit to his old stomping grounds.
Coach Cal tweeted out a tribute to the 7-footer who broke out as a junior at UK, complimenting his work ethic as a Wildcat and noting Richards’ new hairstyle.
.@iamnickrichards worked hard every day he was here, got so much better, was a great teammate & put himself in a position to make it in that league. He’s on a great path & I couldn’t be more proud. Always thought he was 7-5 but it must have been the hair. He’s only 7 feet.l! LOL. pic.twitter.com/VllF5uYu5U
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) June 19, 2021
Richards saw limited action in his first NBA season but flashed in the G-League. The 23-year-old was quite productive in his nine games with the Greensboro Swarm, averaging a double-double with 17 points per game and 10.3 rebounds.
He eventually managed to crack the Hornets roster for 18 games, but a crowded depth chart limited his playing time. Regardless, there’s plenty to be excited about with Richards’ future, especially considering the exciting young core Charlotte is building with the likes of LaMelo Ball and fellow Wildcat PJ Washington.
He recently joined Sam Farber of the Hornet’s Hive podcast to reminisce on his rookie year and discuss his expectations heading into the offseason. They also dive into the draft-day trade that sent him to Charlotte and detail his experience handling all of this season’s unique COVID restrictions.
Don't forget to check out today's Hornets Hive Cast.
Nick Richards talks most memorable moment of his rookie year with the @hornets
— Sam Farber (@SamFarberLive) June 14, 2021
If there’s one thing we learned about Richards during his time at UK, it’s that he gets better with age. Given a full offseason and summer camp heading into his sophomore campaign, Farber believes Richards can carve himself a role in next year’s Hornets team, and I’m sure BBN couldn’t agree more.