So this is going to be a bit of a ramble of my th..."/>
So this is going to be a bit of a ramble of my th..."/>

The Cats are Headed to Windsor, Canada


by Jared Quillen

So this is going to be a bit of a ramble of my thoughts on Kentucky Basketball’s Summer trip to Windsor, (Detroit, Michigan) Canada for three exhibition games from August 15-17. Calipari said of the trip, “This is a unique opportunity for our program to spread the Big Blue Nation’s mist into Ontario, Canada.” Let me just say that while I appreciate the metaphor, I prefer bringing the thunder to a little “spreading the mist” but never mind, that’s really just a matter of semantics.

Going to Canada made me think of some former UK players from Canada. Then I got to thinking about UK players from other countries in general. Over the entire history of UK basketball there have only been seven foreign players at UK, two of them this year. Following is a list of every UK foreigner:

Souleymane (Jules) Camara – Dakar, Senegal
Bernard Cote – St Lambert, Quebec
Jamaal Magloire – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Enes Kanter – Istanbul, Turkey
Lukasz Obrzut – Gliwice, Poland
Sheray Thomas – Montreal, Quebec
Eloy Vargas – Moca, Dominican Republic

Of all of these foreign players only Jamaal Magloire and Jules Camara contributed much to the Wildcats’ success; Magloire having won a championship in 1998 and Camara playing on the 2003 team that had the best chance of winning a championship of any UK team since 1998. I know I know. Last year’s team had a ton of talent, but let’s not forget just how dominant that 03 team was. They played far better defense than last year’s team, played smarter/harder and were quite talented themselves with future NBA players in Chuck Hayes, Erik Daniels, Gerald Fitch, Kelenna Azubuike, and Keith Bogans. Anyway, like I said this a ramble, so back to Kentucky’s foreigners.

Bernard Cote transferred to Northwestern where he continued to not be any good and then eventually quit playing basketball because he was burned out. Sheray Thomas is famous for leaving the key and getting a technical when a free throw was being shot and Lukasz Obrzut was immensely frustrating from day one. He may be a great guy and a loyal Wildcat but really, how do you average less than two points and two rebounds per game for your career when you’re seven foot one.

He did however work over future player of the year and number one draft pick Andrew Bogut. So that was fun. I was actually on vacation in Hawaii when UK beat Utah for the one hundredth straight time in the 2005 NCAA tournament. I was there with two good friends from Utah, so Woo did give me at least one very satisfying victory.

So back to this Summer. If you’re like me, you’ve already mapquested the trip and tried to convince your wife that a Summer trip to Canada is a great idea.

Back to UK’s foreigners. I would say that Vargas and Kanter will be immediate contributors, but don’t count on this little trip as an opportunity to get the next Steve Nash, we’re one for three on Canadian players.

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