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Calipari calls the pros back to Kentucky for All-Star game


Waiting for the new college hoops season to start... well, it stinks. Football season is a distraction from the void, but it doesn’t fill every day of the week with televised action in quite the way our overstuffed hoops calendar can. Football is still, primarily, a weekend event.

Come September, however, Kentucky fans will have a very good reason to fill Rupp Arena, well ahead of schedule. Head coach John Calipari, who has been busy participating in relief efforts for the tornado-damaged town of West Liberty, took a few minutes to announce that former Wildcats currently in the NBA will be returning to Rupp on September 15th for an All-Star game. Some proceeds from the charity game will also be funneled into the West Liberty relief effort.

“I’m really excited about it,” Calipari told the Lexington Herald-Leader. “The players are excited about it. When we did the Dominican Republic (exhibition games last summer), you remember we played the Kentucky team. Those players, when they were introduced, it was like a love-fest. They have never had an introduction like that since they left Kentucky until they came back to Kentucky. They’re family.”
No word yet on which players will come back for the game, but Calipari specifically mentioned that he’d like to reunite the 1996 national title team for the event. No word on whether Rick Pitino is invited, either.

Amusingly enough, it’s very much possible for Cal to build a full team of players who would still have collegiate eligibility if they hadn’t turned pro. What other school could say the same?