By LARRY VAUGHT
Some Kentucky basketball fans were less than thrilled with a story in the Los Angeles Times about UK coach John Calipari reported demands from UCLA when the Bruins contacted him about the vacant coaching position that it had.
However, Tyrone Black, the father of UK signee Tyrese Maxey of Texas, likes everything about Calipari and the way he runs his program.
“Calipari gets a bad rap for a lot of things,” Maxey said. “You will hear, ‘He just rolls the balls out and they go play.’ That is so untrue. I kept hearing that when we were not connected to the program in any way prior to him recruiting Tyrese.”
Tyrone Black thought Calipari was about basketball and only basketball. He found out that was not true, either.
“We went there and talked to him and he is so passionate about giving back,” Tryone Black said. “He nurtures guys and tells them, ‘You have a gift and you can use this gift to help others. Servanthood is a big deal to him and I didn’t know that and that really impressed me.”
That led Tyrone Maxey to research what players Calipari had this year as well as those in the NBA did to give back. He was impressed by the impact he found they had off the court. It was the kind of impact he wants his son to make.
“At the end of the day the basketball stop bouncing. So how can you impact the world and make a difference in somebody else’s life? I always wanted that for my son,” the UK player’s father said. “I pray that he is used to help others.
“I tell him to always encourage others about your story. Shake hands and smile for anybody you can. Just be a good person because in the end that is what matters and Calipari gets that.”