By LARRY VAUGHT
As I was clearing out some files Tuesday night, I came across quotes from John Calipari about sophomore guard Immanuel Quickley.
I had meant to share them earlier and just forgot. However, the quotes are timeless and explain why I always respected Quickley so much for more than just his playing ability. His character was clear from the first time I met him or actually the first time I talked to his high school coach about him.
After the season abruptly ended, Calipari talked about how faith played a role in Quickley’s rise from freshman reserve to SEC Player of the Year as a sophomore.
“I’m like a lost soul right now because I can’t go to mass in the morning. Immanuel is kind of like I am. People know his faith, but he doesn’t force it on anybody. He doesn’t judge how you are based on his faith. Neither do I,” Calipari said.
“The players know that. We would be on the road for a game and I’m in mass in the morning. They know what my schedule, what my daily routine (is), how I go about (things). The first thing that I do. And they know Immanuel and the way he was. He gave the team prayer.”
Usually Calipari said he has different players give the pregame prayer without letting them know who he might ask to do it.
“The reason I did it is then I know each one of them were praying because they knew they had to speak in front of their team and say a prayer. They had better be ready. So, they at least did it two or three times,” Calipari said. “But with him (Quickley), he was so good and the players had so much faith in his faith that I made it for him to do it.
“He did not force his faith on anybody, but you could see his faith through how he lived his life and how he treated his own faith, which has an impact on other people. And I think actions speak more loudly than words and people are moved more by what you do than what you say, especially with religion. Especially with religion.”