John Calipari Impressions, PART SIX

"I like to see the old-timers down there. It makes their day to be able to sit in that practice and talk about what they saw. I love that stuff. That's why I have always had open practices," Calipari said. FREE BONUS COVERAGE OF THIS ARTICLE COMING TOMORROW

He's so fan friendly that is contemplating ways to open practice. No, not just to media members as some schools do, but to fans as well.

"I like to see the old-timers down there. It makes their day to be able to sit in that practice and talk about what they saw. I love that stuff. That's why I have always had open practices," Calipari said. "They have told me I can't do it the way here I have done it because there would be too many people. Maybe somebody from Georgia or somewhere would come. They probably will have to call the secretary to get it cleared and then I will let them in.

"I will probably let the media in three or four times a week to just watch. I don't hide anything. I don't have to. I am proud of what we do, how we coach and how we play. I would rather have you (the media) watch and see what I am teaching so that when you write about it, you can say you were at practice and that is not what he was trying to do. I saw what he was doing and what he was teaching with my own eyes. That is not what he wants or what he is teaching. Don't you think that would be better for me than you not knowing and saying, ‘What the hell is he teaching?'"

Calipari likes spending time in the gym as much as he enjoys recruiting. When he does take rare time away from basketball, his priority has always been spending time with his family. Calipari and wife, Ellen, have two daughters, Erin Sue and Megan Rae, and a son, Bradley Vincent. Megan plans to transfer to UK as a sophomore her sister will continue to pursue her doctorate of pharmacology at Wake Forest University.

"My son golfs, so we will go spend three hours on the golf course together when I have time. He is hitting the ball and I have to watch every shot he hits," Calipari laughed and said. "I will be with my staff and friends. I read a lot, too. But there's just not a lot of free time."

That's one reason there is not a lot of basketball talk at the Calipari household.

"We don't talk basketball at my house. It will never get talked about. When I get home, I will grab the dog or get my son and go mess around. I never bring the thing home with me. I keep saying it is not life and death. I know for some people at Kentucky it is, but it won't be for me," Calipari said. "I want to have fun doing what I am doing. I want the people that are watching to have fun. I don't want them to have angst. I want them to enjoy the ride, enjoy the experience. The only way they can is if I am enjoying it.





Check back tomorrow for more on this series of articles, which appeared in last month's issue of KSR, the magazine. Sign up for Kentucky Sports Report, the magazine, today. It is filled with great articles and glossy photographs of all things Wildcats. FREE BONUS COVERAGE OF THIS ARTICLE RELEASED TOMORROW!

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