John Calipari said during Thursday’s press conference that he expected 70-90 family members, former players, coaches and administrators to be in attendance for his enshrinement into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday night in Springfield.
And he wasn’t exaggerating.
Many of the players Calipari sent to the NBA made the trip to Springfield. Anthony Davis, John Wall, Demarcus Cousins, Marcus Camby, Nerlens Noel, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Karl-Anthony Towns were just some of those there to support their coach. Just look at the photos of former players and coaches surrounding Coach Cal inside the Hall of Fame before Friday’s ceremony.
Also in attendance for Calipari’s Hall of Fame speech: his 2015-16 team. The current Wildcats get the experience of being around some of Calipari’s earliest stars, some of whom played for Cal before they were born.
“They’re going to see some of my (earlier players), who probably with gray beards will tell them, ‘Man, you don’t know what he was like back then,'” Calipari said on Thursday. “I mean, Marcus Camby has, like grayed. How did I coach somebody who has gray hair? What happened?”
Calipari will be one of six active Hall of Fame coaches in college basketball next season. He is enshrined in a class that includes Dikembe Mutombo, Lisa Leslie, Spencer Haywood, Jo Jo White, Tommy Heinsohn (inducted as a coach), and fellow Wildcat Louis Dampier.