John Wall’s One Season at Kentucky Nearly Didn’t Occur

Once you consider a number of the finest gamers to ever placed on a Kentucky uniform, John Wall is definitely in that dialog.

Not solely is he top-of-the-line to ever play at Kentucky, however he additionally turned this system round. Sure, John Calipari performed an enormous half in bringing Kentucky basketball again from the lifeless, nevertheless it’s properly documented that John Wall gave Kentucky its “swag” again.

Eleven years in the past as we speak, John Wall signed with Kentucky over Duke and Miami. However his one 12 months in Lexington nearly didn’t occur.

In an interview with Evan Daniels, Wall mentioned that if Xavier Henry dedicated to Kentucky when John Calipari left Memphis for Lexington, he wouldn’t have gone to Kentucky.

“I used to be taking part in with Xavier [Henry] and Xavier was a gifted participant however he was simply taking pictures the ball a lot, so mad he wasn’t getting the ball, I referred to as Cal up and was like, ‘‘Cal while you swap to Kentucky, if he’s coming, I promise I gained’t go,’” Wall defined. “I informed him that straight up. I informed him I can’t go as a result of I used to be like me, DeMarcus, E-Bled [Eric Bledsoe] and all of those guys are about to sacrifice and he has to sacrifice, we’re not going to get numerous pictures. All of us are used to averaging over 25 or extra on our group and we’re not about to be like that and I don’t assume he may purchase into that.”

Effectively, Xavier Henry, who was ranked because the No. 6 participant within the 2009 class, ended up going to Kansas. Due to this, Wall ended up in Lexington as an alternative of committing to Frank Haith and Miami.

Wall was going to decide to Memphis to play for Calipari, however when Cal referred to as Wall to inform him he was going to Lexington, he was nice with it. The one cause he didn’t need to go to Kentucky was as a result of he didn’t need to play for Billy Gillespie.

“He referred to as me and informed me he was about to vary and I used to be like, ‘That’s nice, I like Kentucky anyway, I beloved every little thing about their fanbase once I took a go to there,’” Wall mentioned. “I took a go to there when Billy Gillespie was there, I beloved every little thing about it. I simply didn’t need to play with coach Gillespie so I’m like, ‘I’m going to go play at Memphis the place Cal is.’ And he referred to as me and I used to be like, ‘good, I don’t even must take a go to, I already know the ambiance, I already know the way it goes.’”

Wall mentioned that if Xavier Henry went to Kentucky, he would’ve ended up in Miami, “I believe [Xavier Henry’s] brother was making an attempt to go to highschool too and I believe Cal ended up not bringing him and I used to be like, ‘OK, I’m going to Kentucky,’” Wall mentioned. “I believe if Xavier would have went then I might’ve ended up going to Miami.”

Wall additionally mentioned that when Cal recruits you, he’s “simply actual.”

“I believe he’s simply actual,” Wall mentioned. “I believe he’s simply being actual. He got here to my home, he’ll go wherever to go go to you, he doesn’t care in case you reside within the hood, not within the hood, he’s not scared, he’s pulling up and he in all probability talked about basketball for like two questions. Do you need to be nice? Do you need to make the NBA? That’s it. Every part else is like, ‘how is your life going?’ what do you see your self doing in your mother and doing for your loved ones?”

“He’s actually like a father determine to individuals,” he added. “He takes you in and he preaches to you about what he thinks it’s essential do to organize your self for the place you need to get to.”

John Wall’s time in Lexington was unforgettable. Wall averaged 16.3 PPG, 6.5 APG, and 4.3 RPG whereas main the Cats to an SEC Championship and an Elite Eight run.

To learn extra of the interview and to observe it your self, click on right here.

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