Brad Calipari doing what he can in his limited time


Kentucky sophomore guard Brad Calipari is pushed in the middle of Kentucky’s pregame huddle prior to the game against Fort Wayne on Wednesday, November 22, 2017 in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 86-67. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Anyone who consistently goes to UK men’s basketball games at Rupp Arena knows what to do when sophomore walk-on Brad Calipari has the ball in his hands. 

Most of the time fans yell “Shoot” every time Brad Calipari gets the ball because of his great shooting ability. He shows off his range in pregame warm-ups, but hardly gets the chance to show it during games, as he’s only played eight minutes this season.

Despite the fans’ loud cheers when he gets the ball, Brad Calipari admits he hears his father, head coach John Calipari, over the crowd every time.

“His voice is a little more distinct,” Calipari said of his father.

Brad Calipari has attempted two three-pointers in his eight minutes of action, missing both. Calipari has had the opportunity to take more shots, but has turned them down in sake for the team.

“Do you really want a guy walking in the game, catching a ball and shooting a 30-footer? No,” John Calipari said. “So he’s trying to play basketball. He wants to be a basketball player.”

The most minutes Brad Calipari has played in a game this season is three, so usually by the time he gets comfortable, he’s subbed out, or the game is over. The sophomore admits it’s a challenge settling into the game in such a short amount of time, but knows it’s what he has to deal with playing for Kentucky. 

“He deserves to play, but maybe not in front of these guys,” coach Calipari said. “He works hard enough to deserve to get on that court, but the problem is he’s got some guys in front of him that are pretty good.”

However, Calipari has made appearances in each of the last three games, largely due to some recent good practices, according to his father and coach. Calipari even made a first half appearance against Troy, even though it only lasted for two minutes.

“Just consistently bringing it everyday has been great for me, it’s helped me get a lot better,” Brad Calipari said. 

Despite not shooting the ball as much as he would like, Calipari is invested in the process and enjoying his time at Kentucky. He says getting to be coached by his father is a unique experience that he’s enjoyed in his short career at UK so far.

Father Calipari has also enjoyed the opportunity to coach his son.

I enjoy walking in the gym and seeing him, I really do,” John Calipari said.