Ashland mayor presents John Calipari with key to the city

Jack Pilgrim09/11/23


Article written by:On3 imageJack Pilgrim
Photo by Mont Dawson | Kentucky Sports Radio

Saturday marked the start of college basketball’s open recruiting period, which runs from fall to the early spring. Coaches are allowed to make in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts and evaluations while also hosting recruits on campus visits — a free-for-all of sorts.

John Calipari and the Kentucky coaching staff have hit the ground running. It started with a trip to see five-star guard Darryn Peterson and five-star big Patrick Ngongba on Monday, with trips to see five-stars Jayden Quaintance and Caleb Wilson, among others, the rest of the week.

But that’s not all Calipari is doing — he does wear many hats, after all. In the midst of scheduling and making recruiting trips, he also managed to fit in a stop in Ashland to meet with the Appalachian Regional Commission.

“Spent time in Ashland, Kentucky today speaking to some wonderful, impactful people at ARC, the Appalachian Regional Commission,” Calipari said Monday. “You talk about people who make a difference in the lives of those of us who really need it? That’s them!! I love being around people who love to help others!! I was on stage with Governor Beshear, who did a masterful job.”

He also checked in on Bob Marcum, who oversaw the UMass Athletics Department during its most prominent time in history with John Calipari roaming the basketball sidelines, his tenure spanning a decade from 1993-2002.

“Had to stop at my mentor and UMass AD Bob Marcum’s house while in Ashland,” Calipari added. “He always was there to help me and our program. Ellen and I love you, Bob.”

Before he could leave town and get back on the recruiting trail, Calipari received a very special gift from Ashland mayor Matt Perkins: a key to the city.

“One last thing before we land in Atlanta tonight,” he wrote. “Thanks to Ashland mayor Matt Perkins for presenting me with a key to the city! It is an honor!!”

Not a bad way to get the recruiting period started.

Now time to go reel in Kentucky’s next top-ranked recruiting class.

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