Spreading the Game Globally : Coach Cal and his Decision to Coach the Dominican Republic

05/23/2011 03:17 PM

We all know that University of Kentucky head coach, John Calipari, has officially been named as coach of the Dominican Republic national team. He will try to qualify that team for the 2012 Olympics. Calipari is set to spend six weeks with the national team from August through mid-September getting them prepared for the Tournament of the Americas.
Coaching the Dominican Republic is a chance for Calipari to influence yet another country’s coaches and players. He will not only be putting the players through practice but will also train coaches from the Dominican Republic like he has done with China in the past.
That’s all good and well but the venture does raise a big question. What does this mean for UK and a potential 8th National Championship run? The freshman phenoms combined with returning stars Darius Miller, Terrence Jones, and Doron Lamb should be the only focus for Coach Cal this summer, right?
Well, looking at the big picture, Kentucky fans shouldn’t worry much at all.

The only possible downside to this endeavor is that Calipari will have to split time between the Cats and the DR national team but that little snag was taken care of already. The state-of-the-art Joe Craft Center on campus at the University of Kentucky, the same place the Cats practice, will be where the DR trains also. With that problem being solved, Calipari doing his part in spreading the game of basketball globally has nothing but upside.

Who doesn’t want the Dominican Republic painted blue and white for next season? Let’s be honest, an increase in Kentucky’s fan base to an entirely different country is kind of cool.

How about seeing Calipari want to develop his skills as a coach? That should be inspiring to every Kentucky fan and potential recruit out there. It not only shows how much he truly loves the game, but also what kind of ambassador he is for it.

Oh, and let’s not forget that Lexington, KY is now the summer hub for NBA players due to both the DR national team being there and a potential NBA lockout that leaves many players needing a place to work out.

It’s important to note what this will do for the 2011-2012 Kentucky team. Being around so much talent and knowledge during the summer will only expedite a freshman’s transition from high school to college.

Calipari coaching the DR does nothing except support Kentucky’s culture of elite basketball and makes for an exciting atmosphere around the state this summer.

About Mark Krebs

Mark Krebs graduated cum laude from the University of Kentucky in 2010 with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management and was a three-year letterman in basketball. He proved himself to three different coaches (Smith, Gillispie, and Calipari) in his four years with the Cats and eventually earned a scholarship after three years of being a walk-on. Mark is currently splitting time between his book tour for Beyond a Dream and starring as part-time co-host on KSTV.

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