Coach Cal inspires at Final Word event


UK Men’s basketball head coach John Calipari talks about his book in Memorial Hall Wednesday evening. Photo by Brittany McIntosh


Memorial Hall was filled with students anxiously awaiting UK men’s basketball head coach John Calipari’s arrival on Wednesday night. Groups arrived an hour ahead of time to make sure they had front row seats.

Students paged excitedly through books, eager for the opportunity to get an autograph. More students filed into Memorial sporting Kentucky blue shirts with all kinds of basketball logos.

By 7:30 p.m. Memorial was packed with people.

Before the event started, communications freshman Cambron Rich said, “I hope to gain more insight into his [Calipari’s] character.”

Marketing freshman Julia Dubis said she was excited to hear about sports.She doesn’t think she will be camping out for any basketball tickets this year, but plans to try her luck at the lotteries.

Once the talk began, Calipari did not have much to say about his book “Bounce Back: Overcoming Setbacks to Succeed in Business and Life.” One of the first things he told the audience was, “We don’t have to talk about the book.”

Instead, he focused more on having goals in life and helping others.

“When we go through life, it’s more about helping people along the way,” he said. “I try to tell all my teams ‘If you want to lead, you have to serve.’”

Calipari went on to tell about taking his team to volunteer for Samaritan’s Feet, an organization with the goal of providing shoes to 10 million individuals who are in need.

“It was the greatest thing watching my team wash the feet of an eight year old who is going to see them on TV in two months,” Calipari said. “It’s service leadership.”

Calipari also said students should surround themselves with only positive people, and that family should always come first.

His main focus was that, “If you want to do anything with life, do it for others.”

Students in the audience seemed inspired by what Calipari had to say.

“He spoke a lot about life, gave us a lot of advice and I really enjoyed it,” said broadcast journalism senior Jerrika Insco. “I was really hoping that he wasn’t going to talk too much about basketball and he didn’t.”