Dear Coach Cal,
Please care more about Kentucky High School Basketball.
Now, hear me out — this is not a letter to insult or berate you in any way. This letter is to tell you exactly where you stand in Kentucky hoops: the top.
You ARE Kentucky basketball… and I don’t mean the University of Kentucky. I mean that you are the face for the roundball across our entire Commonwealth.
You see, we are having a problem in our great state. Every year, less and less fans care about getting out to a high school game. Our Sweet 16 — the greatest high school tournament in the world according to my friend Jim Host — is seeing a decline in numbers. Our local rivalry games are hit hard, too. I can’t help but think if Coach John Calipari — the state’s basketball icon — cared about high school hoops, everyone else would follow suit.
Coach, maybe you know how big your influence is. Maybe you don’t, I don’t know… but I do know one thing. I was in attendance the year you showed up to the Zip Zone Tip-Off Classic in Eastern Kentucky and your presence changed the environment for the entire weekend. When you showed up to watch a player this season… the attention to that game increased tenfold. Imagine what buzz you could generate all season long just by offering some insight, attention, or maybe just starting a conversation about it?
I know you’re a busy man. Beyond busy! But what I would love to see is you and your love for this sport cause a snowball effect and bring back the passion across Kentucky. I’d love to see you at our Mr/Miss Basketball event, at our All-Star games in the summer, at anything. But if you can’t be present I’d love to see encouragement and chatter from your social media, inciting the people of Kentucky to get involved again.
I also know you’re not obligated to do any of these things. But Kentucky fans love you… and Kentucky fans have kids/family that play in High School. What a win-win.