“I felt like this was the best opportunity for me,” C.J. Fredrick ready to make his mark in Lexington


Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari hypes up the crowd during the University of Kentucky vs. Notre Dame basketball game on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Notre Dame won 64-63. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Hunter Shelton

Kentucky men’s basketball rounded out the first week of satellite camps on Saturday at Covington Catholic High School in Park Hills, KY.

Coach John Calipari, alongside most of the 2021-22 roster and coaches helped provide another opportunity for the young campers to interact, practice and learn with one of the most storied programs in college basketball.

After the camp, Iowa transfer and Covington Catholic graduate C.J. Fredrick spoke to the press, introducing himself to Big Blue Nation.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Fredrick said about returning to his alma mater to participate in Saturday’s camp. “Being home and being here brings back really good memories.”

Fredrick, who is one of four players that Calipari landed through the transfer portal this offseason, is ready to make the most of his time back in the Bluegrass. The other three transfers include Oscar Tshiebwe, Kellan Grady and Sahvir Wheeler.

“I felt like this was the best opportunity for me,” Fredrick said when asked why he chose to come to Kentucky.

Although he was named the 2018 Kentucky Gatorade Player of the Year, Fredrick was not recruited by UK throughout his time at Covington Catholic and was “locked in” on Iowa throughout his championship run in the KHSAA Sweet Sixteen at Rupp Arenathat year. Now the 6-foot-3 guard will have the opportunity to play in the same building that he won a state title in, just three years ago.

In his two seasons at Iowa, Fredrick averaged 8.8 points per game while shooting at a 46.6% clip from three-point range. While shooting may be a strong suit for the 21-year-old, Fredrick isn’t quite ready to be pinned down to that one aspect of his game.

“I just try to be a complete player,” Fredrick said.

Fredrick matches his sharpshooting ability with the ability to take care of the basketball. In his two seasons with the Hawkeyes, Fredrick notched 121 assists while only turning the ball over 42 times.

The Wildcats were 228th in assist to turnover ratio in the 2020-21 season, averaging .9 assists per giveaway, a number that Fredrick will contribute to increasing for the Cats in the upcoming campaign.

Fredrick while returning close to home, is another addition to what will be a crowded backcourt for Calipari this season.

Alongside incoming freshmanTyTy Washington and fellow transfers Wheeler and Grady, Fredrick will be one of possibly six guards wearing blue and white this year. Dontaie Allen returns to Lexington for his second season, while UK awaits the decision of Davion Mintz, who is testing the waters in the NBA Draft process.

Week two of satellite camps will begin next week on June 7 as Coach Cal and company will head to West Carter High School in Olive Hill. The camp will begin at 3:00 p.m. E.T.