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Flashback: John Calipari Checks in at the Barclays Center Opening

John Calipari checking out Jay Z and scoping the Barclays Center ahead of his Kentucky Wildcats taking the floor in a college basketball tournament showdown

As basketball lovers across the country are getting ready to watch the showdown between the cats and the dogs or, the Kentucky Wildcats and the UCONN Huskies, I'm going down memory lane to a first meeting of Kentucky Wildcats head basketball coach John Calipari.

It was the night of the Barclays Center opening. Music and business mogul, Jay Z was about to take the stage and perform, the first performer to do so. Coach Calipari was among the many that had come to the Barclays Center to celebrate a new beginning in Brooklyn and a new day of basketball in Brooklyn.

What's The 411TV, based in Brooklyn, NY, was out in full force on the red carpet and Coach Calipari stopped to chat it up with What's The 411SportsTV correspondent, Andrew Rosario.

So, what does Coach Calipari think of the new arena?

"Since we're going to be the first college game in here, I said I better get over here and see it (Barclays Center) and since Jay Z's on stage, I said I might as well do both."

Yes, basketball will be great in New York City with the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets battling it out.

"...that college game is going to be fun," said Calipari referencing the University of Kentucky's upcoming game at the Barclays Center and nicely reminding us that basketball professionals will be sharing the court with college kids.

With all new players, Kentucky was poised to face Maryland. Although Calipari lost his previous team, he remained optimistic saying, "it'll be fun."

Knowing that some of the kids on his team are from Nashville (Tennessee) and Arkansas, Calipari understands that when they arrive in New York City, it will be culture shock, but in Calipari's words, "it's going to be a great experience."

Is Calipari a Jay Z fan?

"Oh yeah, oh yeah; now he (Jay Z) came into our locker room and it cost him $50,000," Calipari said with a smile. "Now, I wonder if I go in his locker room, if it's going to cost me $50,000?"

By the way, I'm rooting for the freshmen (that's Kentucky if you're not a follower of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament).

Check out video interview with Coach John Calipari here:


Last modified onSaturday, 18 March 2017 16:45