John Wall only played at Kentucky for one season but his connection will last a lifetime

John Wall
John Wall

When John Wall arrived as a freshman at the University of in 2010, it was an open secret that his stay in Lexington would last just one season. He was the top-ranked player out of high school, the headliner for the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class, and the consensus No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft.

was in his first year as ’s coach and did not deny the one-and-done reality; he encouraged it. He had coached and at Memphis and made one request to his latest prized point guard: take the other guys to the with you. Those other guys included fellow freshmen DeMarcus Cousins, Daniel Orton, and Eric Bledsoe. Everyone was on board from the start except for one: Bledsoe.

“He used to come in and tell me, ‘Eric doesn’t believe he can do this, Coach,’ ” Calipari recalled in a telephone interview. “‘He doesn’t believe he’s an player.’ I said, ‘What? We got a job then. We’re going to convince him that he is because he is. We’re going to get in his mind with the right stuff.’ ”

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