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Two Kentucky walk-ons rewarded with scholarships

longmalone

The UK men’s basketball team participates in photo day at Joe Craft Center on August 22, 2012 in Lexington, KY. Photo by Britney McIntosh | UK Athletics

Britney McIntosh

John Calipari just pulled off another amazing recruiting coup, getting the Harrison twins to commit to Kentucky as part of yet another blue-chip, one and done recruiting class. It’s easy to think that there’s no room for the merely great amongst the constellation of elite players, let alone the fairly average. But, buried in the weekend’s football-heavy news cycle was the information that bench warmers Brian Long and Sam Malone have been awarded scholarships by John Calipari for the upcoming 2012-13 season.

Coach Cal reached into his infinitely spacious Bag of Holding to reward the two practice players, including academic star Long, who plumped up the program’s APR with a sizzling 3.9 grade point average last season.

“It shows you’ve got to work hard and you’ve got to continue to keep working hard,” Long told the Lexington Herald-Leader. “And you’ve got to be successful on the floor and off the floor and in school. There’s a lot of factors, but it all pays off if you work hard.”
Long, a 5'9" guard, actually comes from a college hoops family. According to his Kentucky profile, his father, also named Brian, played for Creighton, and his brothers Keith (UNLV) and Travis (Memphis) donned DI uniforms as well.

Sam Malone battled injuries last season, and saw even less time than Long. The two combined for 8 total points last season.

(photos from UKAthletics.com)