John Wall almost never went to Kentucky
John Wall was an outstanding player in his lonely Kentucky season, but he almost committed to playing for coach John Calipari in Memphis.
In an interview with 247Sports’ Evan DanielsWall said he was ready to commit to Calipari in Memphis before the coach informed him that he was going to take the job in Kentucky.
Calipari had to navigate which perspectives he wanted to bring with him.
“He called me and said that he would change soon and I said,” That’s fine, I like Kentucky anyway, I loved everything about her fan base when I paid a visit there, “said Wall. “I paid a visit there when Billy Gillispie was there. I loved everything about it. I just didn’t want to play with coach Gillispie, so I said,” I’ll play in Memphis, where Cal is. “And he called me and I said, “Perfect, I don’t even have to pay a visit, I already know the atmosphere, I already know how to do it. ‘”
Not long after that call, Wall and his future college teammate DeMarcus Cousins were selected for the Nike Hoop Summit.
At the event, they were teammates of Xavier Henry, who worked for Calipari in Memphis.
“I played with Xavier [Henry] and Xavier was a talented player, but he only shot the ball so much that he couldn’t get the ball. I called Cal and said, “Cal, if you move to Kentucky when he comes, I promise I won. Don’t go,” said Wall. “I told him directly. I told him I can’t go because … DeMarcus [Cousins], E-Bled [Eric Bledsoe] and all these guys are about to sacrifice and he has to sacrifice, we won’t get many shots. We’re all used to getting an average of over 25 or more on our team, and we won’t be, and I don’t think he can get involved. “
Henry eventually played for Kansas.
“I think if Xavier had gone I would have gone to Miami,” Wall admitted.
Wall told Daniels that his relationship with Calipari remains strong to this day and why elite recruits want to play for him.
“I think it’s just real. I think it’s just real,” said Wall. “He came to my house, he’ll go anywhere to visit you, he doesn’t care if you live in the hood, not in the hood, he’s not afraid, he’s dressed and he probably has two questions talked about basketball. Do you wanna be great Do you want to do the NBA? That’s it. Everything else is like, “How’s your life going?” What do you see for your mother and for your family? “
Wall continued, “He really is like a father figure to people. He welcomes you and preaches what you think he needs to do to prepare for where you want to go.”