UK Men's Basketball

Players react to Kentucky coach John Calipari’s half-court heave

Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari smiled as the University of Kentucky practiced for their NCAA opening round game in Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa, March 16, 2016. Calipari often attempts a half-court shot at shoot-arounds. He made his first bucket at South Carolina on Tuesday.
Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari smiled as the University of Kentucky practiced for their NCAA opening round game in Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa, March 16, 2016. Calipari often attempts a half-court shot at shoot-arounds. He made his first bucket at South Carolina on Tuesday. cbertram@herald-leader.com

Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari made his ritual half-court shot during UK’s shootaround for Tuesday night’s South Carolina game in Columbia, S.C., something he’s said to have never done while at Kentucky.

Acting like it was no big deal, the coach flashed the peace sign as a number of players whooped and heaved their own balls at the basket.

“Haven’t seen coach hit rim in 3 years ... still haven’t seen him hit rim #swoosh,” UK walk-on Jonny David said on Twitter in response.

Even former Cats weighed in.

“No way!! Lol coach never even got close when I was there,” Aaron Harrison tweeted.

Calipari joked on his own Twitter account: “Been working out. Told the guys, but nobody wants to listen!”

The video of the two-handed chest heave was posted by UK Basketball on its Twitter and Facebook accounts.

“That would be Coach Cal’s first made half-court shot at a gameday shootaround while he’s been at Kentucky,” UK’s Twitter said, later adding that “legend has it” the last time he made the half-courter at a shootaround was ahead of the 1998 championship game when he was with Memphis.

“Never thought I’d see the day,” UK’s Sacha Killeya Jones tweeted.

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