Sep 23, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Rap artist Drake plays EMS soccer game against New York Red Bull soccer player Tim Cahill at the FIFA 14 launch party held at Union Square Ballroom. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Drake Talks UK Basketball on ESPN

Yesterday rapper and Kentucky fan Drake went on ESPN’s First Take in an ingenious marketing media frenzy. Drake’s new album Nothing Was The Same dropped yesterday (side note: I highly recommend it) so he was promoting that, as well as the new FIFA game all while talking sports with Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith.

Drake talked about his friendship with Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel (who I am a big fan of), LeBron James (another one of Cal’s friends), made NBA predictions and mentioned his mentor, Jay Z (another Kentucky fan and friend of Cal’s) and finally, they asked Drake about Kentucky basketball.


Here’s how it went down:

(watch here, Kentucky comes up around 16:30 mark)

Skip Bayless: “You have become part of the Kentucky program; give us some insight into Coach Calipari”

Drake: “Coach is, he is, well out there (in Kentucky) he is almost a borderline religious figure, you know, they follow his word…he’s a great man. He truly, cares about the program; he truly cares about the kids.  One thing I’ll say, which really showed me a lot about Coach Cal’s character was, I recently went back to high school and graduated and Coach Cal actually flew to Toronto and came to my high school graduation which was like one of the best moments in my life. Out of anybody, no one else came, just Coach Cal and brought me a Wildcats jersey and talked about maybe getting me in the basketball program, which was probably a blatant lie, but I was in the moment. He’s great; I think this year’s going to be exciting. Obviously you know if it was up to me I would have loved to see Wiggins (fellow Canadian) go to the Cats.”

Skip: “But its still arguable the greatest recruiting class ever”

Drake: “I mean it’s AMAZING, and I’m super excited about it.”

For those who didn’t know, Drake was an alumni coach at the alumni game last year (that’s me and him in the picture below at the game), has attended UK games and narrated the documentary Bluegrass Kingdom: The Gospel of Kentucky Basketball.

You have to give it to Cal, he has friends in high places. Drake shows the side of Cal that lots of analysts miss; he actually cares. It’s also never a bad thing when you have someone with the star power of Drake on a show as big as First Take hyping up your season (as if we needed any more reason to be excited). For me, a Drake, UK and Johnny Football fan- this was probably one of the top 10 First Takes ever. As far as basketball, Jay Z put it best on Drake’s new album NWTS “Still rock La Familia, says a lot about you if you’re not feelin’ us.”

Tags: Coach Calipari Drake ESPN First Take John Calipari

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