|Calipari's camps: . (US Presswire)|
Then ask yourself if you'd rather be paid for that duty on the regular. If that's the case, I implore you to begin your soul-sucking trek into the world of collegiate sports journalism.
But if the former suits you better, and you've got just enough money, irrational pangs of nostalgia tied to high school dreams that were greater in your mind than they were in real life and lack that chip in your brain that tells you paying a decent fraction of a year's worth of rent to attend a fantasy camp and being excited about it isn't normal human behavior ... then an opportunity awaits you in Lexington in mid-September.
(I kid, people, I kid.)
Calipari is charging customers/fanboys 35 years and older $7,500 to do a four-day Kentucky basketball camp, essentially experiencing what it's like to earn a scholarship offer from the Wildcats. It's not novel -- plenty of schools do this because they can. Duke's run one for years, and it's tax deductable, just like this one will be.
Never one to bypass a business opportunity, Calipari has aligned the camp with Citi, meaning Citi credit card holders get first dibs on throwing down for the glorified practice sessions on campus from Sept. 13-16. There are only 80 spots for the taking. The event promotes itself with a chance for attendees to experience their "ultimate basketball fantasy," which can't be entirely true, because I'm doubting Calipari is willing to let a bunch of hair-thinning dudes hang around him 24/7. (Again, we're having fun here. If you're getting angry at the ribbing, chances are you qualify as the kind of person who will go through with this experience.)
Here's what the Blue Haze of the John Calipari Experience entails:
-- Unprecedented access to the inner workings of UK basketball
-- Pickup games and practices at Rupp Arena
-- The chance to be coached by players and the staff (though Calipari said he won't be doing any coaching)
-- The chance to shave Anthony Davis' unibrow in his sleep*
-- Hotel, food and transportation provided on each day
-- Eight tickets to a UK alumni basketball game
-- The tribunal burning of a Louisville Cardinals flag and the burning of 37 copies of Rick Pitino's latest book, "Rebound Rules: The Art of Success 2.0"*
-- Meeting and playing with famous Wildcats of years past
-- The Billy Gillispie experience, which includes pretending to talk on a cellphone while being chased out of the Kentucky athletics building by a real, local Kentucky television reporter^
-- The chance to attend private social functions
-- Which can only mean one thing: party-crashing an Ashley Judd mixer*
-- Swag bag with Kentucky swag
* May or may not be true
^ Something I'll pretend is true no matter what you say to me
There are other perks for Citi Cardmembers, something called the "Captains' Club Package," which brings me so much joy saying aloud, because really, it doesn't get more corporatespeak than that. The price jumps to $10,000 for the CCP, as I'm sure it's being referred to in the Citi offices, but the extra dough means a tour of the players' lodge, meeting with the coaching staff in private, group photos, including one with the championship hardware.
All in all, a smart move by anyone affiliated with it, because there's a genuine interest in this sort of thing. Kentucky does things big, and this is something good for the community, ultimately. Jokes aside, it makes sense. Best of all, Calipari said all the money will be going to charity, the Calipari Family Foundation. With 80 participants, some of them surely willing to pony up 10 grand, the event will easily bring in $700,000 for charity.
“It's a wonderful way for us to, one, connect a whole new realm of people to our program, but the biggest point is all the money will go to the foundation,” Calipari said at his press conference about the event Tuesday afternoon. “It's another way of doing things that we do, leveraging what we are and what we are about, and giving that back to our community and our state and different causes we're involved in.”
I only ask that there be video. So much video. September is unarguably the slowest month in college basketball. And now this awaits us. Give us the reward of multiple video accounts of who attends this and what became of it.