G.J. Vilarino, a 6-foot-1 point guard from McKinney Texas was the first players to commit to Kentucky when Gillispie took over in the spring of 2007. There had been rumblings that Vilarino was considering decommitting, but that's not the case. In fact, G.J. is looking forward to officially becoming a Wildcat. "The visit was phenomenal," said Mr. Vilarino. "Everything is on course. He's looking forward to playing at Kentucky and for coach Gillispie," he finished.
Coach Gillispie discussed with the family G.J.'s role in the program and his expectations. "Mostly he came down and told us how excited he was to have G.J. as a guy committed to the program. He thinks G.J. has a chance to be a special player and contribute right away. There will be a lot of opportunity to compete," said Mr. Vilarino.
"He talked a little about school. He had a presentation with some of the courses and a calendar of events. He also had an expectation of when he should be on campus."
G.J.'s summer started slow, but things picked up when he changed AAU teams. "I thought he played better after his first event. From that point on, he had a great summer," said Mr. Vilarino. "When left Team Texas, he began to play for Full Court Athletes," he said. "They aren't a perennial successful AAU team. They are kind of a beginner program. They played a lot of teams close, but they didn't have enough overall talent to play with the best players," Vilarino said. "They didn't have enough size to battle with a lot of the national programs. They were always close and never got blown out," said Vilarino. "It was a really good chance for him to play the point guard position on a permanent basis."
Another opportunity that G.J. had to show his abilities was at the Adidas Nations Event. "At the Adidas Nations, a lot of NBA scouts loved his upside and his talent. They were sitting around me and they didn't know who I was," he said. "His speed, athleticism and his ability to make others better were some of the things they talked about," said Vilarino. "They actually came down to watch the college players competing. They get side-tracked and watch the high school kids play. They watched him and they were very impressed with him," he finished.
"He gets better and better. He works at his game a lot. He'll be a surprise to those who haven't seen him play," said Mr. Vilarino.
So what are G.J.'s goals for his senior season? "We talked brieftly about it the other day. His team has a good chance to be state champion. They have most of the players back from the undefeated district team. Signing his letter of intent is something that he's ready to get out of the way. He's also going to make his official visit to Kentucky for Midnight Madness," said Vilarino.