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The Guy Behind the Guy: Julian Vaughn

by:C.M. Tomlin07/13/06
As part of KSR Radio's continued attempt to service, you the reader/listener, we have enlisted Chris Tomlin to teach us a bit about the various names that have popped up on the Kentucky recruiting radar screen this summer. He begins with Julian Vaughn. If we were having dinner together at the kind of restaurant which takes reservations, and the subject of “famous Julians” were to come up, you’d most likely posit to me Julian Sands (Warlock, Warlock: The Armageddon ) and Julian Lennon (“Much Too Late For Goodbyes”). At that point I would probably furrow my brow sternly and toss at you a cinnamon biscotti, lime-battered grouper, or half-empty bottle of Santa Marghareta Pinot Grigio -- and tell you that you were egregiously forgetting to mention the in-the-spotlight basketball recruit and power forward Julian Vaughn. I’d probably also forcibly remove the cassette copy of Lennon’s 1984 Valotte, which was a terrible attempt to pass terrible music off just because one is the son of a Beatle, and which you’d been hiding in the inside pocket of your blazer because you love it so much, and start unspooling it madly at the table. I’d then proceed to tell you what you’re missing if you’re not following one of the nation’s most promising young basketball recruits. Vaughn, poised to enter Oak Hill this coming fall despite its tenuous footing with the NCAA, impressed coaches at Nike’s recent All-American Camp after coming back from a serious ankle injury which hampered him earlier this summer. While Vaughn (who stands 6’9 1/2”), remains on Kentucky’s radar, recent interviews have seen him neglecting to mention the Big Blue when asked of his current list of prospects, which also include UNC, Duke, Tennesee and FSU. Vaughn came up through the ranks by making big splashes at Reston, Virginia’s South Lakes High School, where it was difficult living in the shadow of the 42-foot bronze statue Grant Hill donated to his alma mater and which depicts Hill, in full Duke regalia, nursing a baby panda back to health with a medicine dropper. Inspired by the future NBA star, Vaughn certainly seems poised to if not follow in Hill’s footsteps, then to take plaster molds of them and try to pawn them off as Bigfoot paraphernalia in a West Virginia tourist trap. During a recent hot air balloon trip across the Honduras, I was asked by a rather fetching young Parisian girl if I thought that UK had any shot at seeing the young Vaughn in a Wildcat jersey someday. The porcelain waif not only spewed mouthful of sangria on an elderly and well-to-do Swiss couple with an overwrought double-take, but flew backward and threatened to swing the entire balloon off its course when I told her the honest truth. Vaughn looks to be solid with North Carolina, and while he originally held duke down on the list, a recent visit seemed to impress him. Vaughn also told an interviewer at that UNC Assistant Coach Steve Robinson texts him weekly. I acquired one of these exchanges through a friend of mine in the German Underground whose hacking skills are so adept that he once brought the entire Readers’ Digest website down for three hours, and that transcript is related below. ROBINSON: wassup VAUGHN: nm ROBINSON: chad is so cute VAUGHN: lol yea ROBINSON: want 2 go 2 UNC? VAUGHN: idk While it looks like Vaughn’s wits are still about him, and he’s not ready to commit, he’s certainly being swarmed by the Research Triangle gang. If Orlando can keep on him, he’d be a great asset. After I related all of this to you, you’d probably sit back and take it all in. Then, as if you hadn’t been listening, you’d probably bring up the Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate. I’d motion for the check. And dinner would be over.

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