A former Lexington high school basketball player with a familiar last name has joined the University of Kentucky’s recruiting class of 2016.
Brad Calipari, the son of UK Coach John Calipari, announced Sunday that he will return to Lexington as a Kentucky Wildcat next season. The younger Calipari, who will walk on for the Cats, has spent the past two seasons at The MacDuffie School in Massachusetts.
The 6-foot, 180-pound guard started his high school career at Lexington Christian Academy and was a regular presence at UK’s games and practices until he transferred to The MacDuffie School in 2014.
Calipari suffered a torn ACL a few games into his junior season at LCA.
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He also played for the Nike-affiliated Kentucky Travelers basketball club, averaging 3.0 points in 10.2 minutes per game this past summer.
Calipari, who has received interest from smaller Division I programs, has developed into a solid three-point shooter. In January, he made five three-pointers and finished with 17 points to lead his team to a 69-61 overtime victory over five-star UK signee Wenyen Gabriel and Wilbraham and Monson Academy (Mass.).
It’s been speculated for years that Brad Calipari might end up at UK with his father, who spoke about that subject last July during an appearance on ESPN.
John Calipari, who is often tied to NBA coaching jobs, implied in that interview that he would stay at UK for several more years if Brad joined the Wildcats.
“First of all, my wife has already told me if he decides to come, ‘You’re not leaving,’ so that would mean I’m here five more years,” the UK coach said at the time. “If I’m here five more years, why not stay ’til 70, why not sign a new contract and I’ll be 70 when I leave. Seems like everyone coaches until 70, I was thinking 60, but maybe I’ll coach until 72, maybe 73.
“If he comes and he wants to walk on, to be able to spend four years with my son and the ups and downs of this? The only thing is he likes to talk back. You can’t do that when you’re playing for me.”
John Calipari turned 57 last month.
UK has already signed five top-25 national prospects for the class of 2016: point guard De’Aaron Fox, shooting guard Malik Monk, small forward Wenyen Gabriel and post players Edrice “Bam” Adebayo and Sacha Killeya-Jones.
The Cats are also targeting one more five-star post player for next season, and Texas center Marques Bolden is seen as the most likely possibility to fill that spot.