News Who is John Wall?
Kentucky freshman point guard John Wall has dominated college basketball so far this season. Who is this guy? Here are some facts about John Wall.
Johnathan Hildred Wall was born September 6, 1990 in Raleigh, North Carolina. His nickname is "The Great Wall." His other name-related moniker is "Hildred's Got Skill dreds." It's understandably in a far distant second place to "The Great Wall."
As a fifth-year high school senior during the 2008-2009 season, Wall was ranked as the top point guard in the country and in the top five players overall by every scouting service. Wall hung around his high school for that additional fifth year so he could wow younger chicks with his Trans-Am.
In his senior year, Wall led his his high school, Word of God Christian Academy, to the North Carolina Class 1A state championship, but the team lost on a 40-foot shot at the buzzer. It was just the latest classic game in the rivalry between Word of God Academy and There is No God High.
Wall committed to play for John Calipari at Kentucky on May 19, 2009. He also gave serious consideration to Duke and Miami. Miami. That's hilarious. This kid is going to be huge. Fans love an athlete with a good sense of humor.
During the summer it was discovered that Wall received money from his former AAU coach, which violates NCAA rules because his coach was a certified agent. Wall was suspended for Kentucky's first exhibition game (vs. Campbellsville) and first regular season game (vs. Morehead State). That will teach him to do that again.
Wall is expected to declare for the NBA draft following his freshman season. Thankfully during his fifth year of high school he earned a graduate degree in open gym.
Kentucky head basketball coach John Calipari promised Wildcats fans today that he would bring the program a national title that will quickly be stripped by the NCAA within the next five years.
"I know taking a program to the top and then destroying in such a short time is a bold goal," said Calipari. "But I am confident I can do it. I feel my whole career has been preparing me for this goal."
Calipari has almost done it before. He took UMass to a Final Four in 1996, although that appearance was later vacated due to payments made by an agent to star center Marcus Camby. In 2008 he took Memphis to a Final Four, the championship game and to within seconds of a national title. But that season's accomplishments were completely wiped from the record books due to the Tigers using an ineligible player: star point guard Derrick Rose, whose SAT exam was taken by someone else.
Calipari says the Memphis lost hurt the most.
"I knew we were going to have that whole season vacated eventually because we cheated our asses off," he said. "But we would have had something to show for it had we won the title. Losing in the last seconds meant we had nothing. They can take a win wins, but they can never take away the pride you feel in your heart over fraudulent success."
With that bitter taste in his mouth and a new $31.65 million contract lining his pockets Calipari is more determined than ever to cheat his way to a title.
"I will cut every corner, not dot any I's, not cross any T's," he said. "I was brought here to win a title and I will do anything to make it happen and fast. The NCAA is a completely toothless organization, but even they might kick me out at some point. So I have to get moving."
Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart is excited about Calipari's vow and determination.
"A vacated NCAA title wow, that would be awesome!" he said. "It's hard enough to win an NCAA title as is, winning one on the up-and-up is almost impossible. That's why we brought Coach Cal in. We think he has the right mix of basketball smarts and total lack of ethics to bring us the trophy. So what that the NCAA will take it back soon after? We'll make replicas."
Calipari says his first step is improving the talent at Kentucky.
"Lebron James is a free agent after this season and he has all of his college eligibility left," said Calipari. "I think I can get him here. I think he'll be interested to learn that, unlike in the NBA, my players aren't subjected to a salary cap."