VAUGHT: Dennis Felton keeping eye on World Games

Dennis Felton might be helping coach the USA team playing in the Under 21 World Championship in Argentina, but that doesn't mean he's not going to pay attention to the World University Games in Turkey. That's because one of his favorite players, Patrick Sparks, is playing on that team.

Sparks played two years for Felton at Western Kentucky before Felton left for Georgia and Sparks transferred to Kentucky. "There's no bigger believer in Patrick Sparks than I am," Felton said. "When he was coming out of high school he was heavily recruited, but not as heavily as he should have been based on the caliber of player and person he is. I love that kid and the way he plays."

Felton still remembers the first time he saw Sparks play when he was only a high school freshman. Felton knew immediately that Sparks was no ordinary player.

"I determined that he was special then. You could just see he was going to be one of those special, special players," Felton said. "And that was before I had the chance to get to know him as a person. I found out there was even more to him than that. So when I recruited him at Western Kentucky, I talked to him about the two of us doing some special stuff, some special things together and we were able to do that."

"We had a big impact on a program that was kind of down in the dumps and lifted it to a program that became very, very dominant. We won championship after championship, which is not an easy thing to do," Felton said. "We became a top 20 team in the nation, something Patrick believed we could do when he came to Western. In the two years we were together he had as much to say and do about that as anybody.

"Cream rises to the top and I always knew that he would have a standout career and would distinguish himself. Kentucky is lucky to have him. He'll do well this summer, but I think he'll have an even better senior year at Kentucky."

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