Clarion Alum Calipari Inducted into Basketball Hall of Fame

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (EYT) – Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari, a Clarion University graduate, has been voted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

“This is going to be hard for people to understand, but I’m at a loss for words,” Calipari said in a statement.

“I was overwhelmed when I heard the news and so grateful. I would imagine other recipients felt how I feel now: unworthy of such an honor, but appreciative. As a coach, this award means that many parents entrusted you with their sons and many players entrusted you with their careers. That’s why this award has happened for me, and I’m indebted to all of them, all of the staffs and all of the administrations that have helped me build these programs.”

Calipari, who played point guard at Clarion, graduated in 1982 with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing.

His election to the Hall of Fame comes on the heels of previously unbeaten Kentucky’s loss in the Final Four on April 4.

calipariCalipari, 56, has reached the Final Four six times with three different teams – UMass, Memphis, and Kentucky – and won the 2012 national championship with a Kentucky team that is widely considered as one of the best teams of the century.

At Kentucky, Calipari has reached the Final Four in four of the last five years. His unbeaten Kentucky team lost to Wisconsin, 71-64, in Saturday’s Final Four matchup. He also coached in the NBA for three seasons with the New Jersey Nets.

Calipari is the seventh active college basketball coach to be elected to into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He joins Rick Pitino, Roy Williams, Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Boeheim, Larry Brown and new St. John’s coach Chris Mullin, who was voted in as a player.

In order to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, candidates needed at least 18 of 24 votes from the Honors committee to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

The enshrinement ceremony will be held September 10 through 12 in Springfield, Massachusetts.

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