Kentucky coach John Calipari visits Wilbraham & Monson


Oct. 9, 2012
Kentucky head men's basketball coach John Calipari, right, and Wilbraham & Monson Academy head boys' basketball coach Chris Sparks.

Reminder Publications submitted photo

WILBRAHAM – University of Kentucky men's' basketball coach John Calipari, one of the giants of college basketball, was on the Wilbraham & Monson Academy campus Oct. 3 to meet with boys' basketball coach Chris Sparks.

Calipari, whose Kentucky team won the NCAA Division I championship in April, met with Sparks in the morning before going to breakfast at Lak Dining Hall.

"It was another great day," Sparks said. "We had an opportunity for a national championship program, the University of Kentucky, and Coach Calipari, to come to campus. But also, all the other schools that have come, it means a lot to me as an alumnus to be able to market our school in a way that promotes excellence."

University of Pittsburgh men's basketball coach Jamie Hixon was on campus last week, and assistants from Villanova and Missouri were on site earlier this week.

Assistants from Texas, Stanford, Connecticut, Boston College, Harvard, Rider, Rutgers, Manhattan, Massachusetts and Columbia have also met with Sparks this season.

"Our goal has always been to use the school and find the best student-athletes we can across the board, whether it's basketball or another sport," Sparks said. "The direction we've been able to go in my five years, we now have a group of bright kids who are going to do very well from a basketball and academic standpoint. Each and every player we have will go on to play college basketball at the Division I, II or III level."

Calipari coached at the University of Massachusetts from 1989 to 1996, leading the Minutemen to the Final Four in 1996. After coaching the New Jersey Nets in the NBA for three seasons, he coached Memphis from 2001 through 2009, taking the Tigers to the NCAA Division I championship in 2008.

Calipari is about to enter his fourth season at Kentucky.




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