The 2011-2012 Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball team capped off their season with an NCAA championship, the school’s first since 1998. That seems like as good a reason as any to commemorate the occasion by having a portion of the playing surface from this year’s Final Four installed in your locker room right? That’s what John Calipari figured and more than 3,000 square feet of the floor used in the Superdome has been delivered to legendary Rupp Arena.
“I’m not sure I’ve heard of any other locker room doing anything like this,” Calipari said. “But then again, it seems like here at Kentucky we do a lot of things that have never been done.”
The floor will be a part of almost an “interactive” experience in the locker room, in the words of Calipari. Pieces of the floor will be surrounded by images from the 67-59 victory over Kansas in the championship game.
“It does motivate when we’re bringing families in there and recruits in there and all of a sudden they’re like, ‘Wait a minute,’ ” Calipari said. “So yes, it’s going to be a motivating factor in us continuing to get the best and the brightest players here.”
At this point John Calipari doesn’t have to do much of a selling job on the recruiting trail. UK hoops pretty much sells itself. But hey, it certainly can’t hurt.
Coach Cal was right in that Kentucky tends to be a little extra with things when it comes to the men’s basketball program. The housing the guys stay in is pretty lavish. Rapper Drake was hooked up with his own customized championship ring. So I guess having the floor from the site of your most recent national championship delivered to be displayed in the locker room falls right in line.
The remainder of the surface that doesn’t find its way into Rupp Arena will be cut into smaller pieces and auctioned to the public with proceeds helping to fight pediatric cancer in Kentucky. So if you’re a part of Big Blue Nation keep your eyes and ears open for details in the coming weeks.