LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky men’s basketball guard Brad Calipari, head coach John Calipari’s son, is transferring to Detroit Mercy. Brad Calipari made the announcement Monday on his social media accounts.
As a graduate transfer, Calipari will be eligible to play immediately at Detroit Mercy.
“Ten years ago my life completely changed when my dad took the head coaching job at the University of Kentucky,” Calipari said. “I became part of a family. I didn’t know it then, but it became part of something that would define who I am and who I want to be.
“During my time at Kentucky, I’ve grown from a kid to a man. I got in the gym and earned that opportunity a few years ago and I’ve had the privilege of putting on that Kentucky jersey for the last three years. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
“This hasn’t been an easy decision for me, but I’ve decided to finish the rest of my basketball career elsewhere. It’s always been a dream of mine to make a major impact on the court on the college level and I believe the best opportunity to do that is at the University of Detroit Mercy.
“I wouldn’t be in this position without being at Kentucky. I’ve grown so much over the years going against the best college basketball players in the nation and also having the best coaching staff. I want to thank the assistants – Kenny, Tony, Joel and Robes – my brothers, and of course, my dad for pushing me to be the best version of myself.
“Last but not least, I want to thank the Big Blue Nation for all the support over the years. Although I’ll be playing my final two seasons elsewhere, this place will always be important to me. Thank you, and go Big Blue.”
Calipari has been a member of the team for three seasons. He appeared in 27 games in two seasons before redshirting in 2018-19.
The Wildcats won 88 games during that time, advanced to the Elite Eight twice, won a Southeastern Conference regular-season championship and two SEC Tournament titles.
“At the end of the year, each of our players has an opportunity to explore their options and find out what opportunities they have,” John Calipari said. “I didn’t believe Brad should be treated any different. I’m proud of the fact that he graduated in three years and gave himself this opportunity to play the next two seasons either here or at another university. He’s worked really hard and he’s gained the respect of our players because of his work ethic, his drive, his commitment to the game and his skills, so he’s had my full support throughout this process.
“I did not attend any visits with him because I wanted this to be about him and his decision. He came to Kentucky understanding it would be hard to earn minutes because of the level of players here, but he also knew it was his best opportunity to get better every day and to push himself. He always said he may go into coaching one day, which is one of the reasons he decided to come to Kentucky. Now he’s doing what’s best for him and hoping to benefit from the work he’s put in to where he has the opportunity to earn minutes and to play with other really good players and for a good coach.
“That place will be Detroit Mercy with head coach Mike Davis. I’ve coached against Mike and know him well. I have great respect for him as a coach and as a leader of young people.
“I know Brad leaves here with great feelings for our fans and for how he’s been treated, and Ellen and I truly appreciate how he’s been supported. It’s not easy being the coach’s son, especially at a place like Kentucky, but our fans really embraced him. I’m really looking forward to following Brad’s career at Detroit. Proud of you, son.”
Brad Calipari scored 11 points in his two on-court seasons at Kentucky with five rebounds, two assists and a block. A marksman from behind the arc, Calipari averaged 14.3 points, 6.5 assists and 3.3 rebounds a game in four games during an international basketball trip with Global Sports Academy in Croatia in 2017 and 13.2 points and 7.0 assists a game in four games Global Sports Academy to Europe in 2018.
Calipari is a two-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member and graduated in May – in just three seasons – with a degree in communication.
The 6-foot guard averaged 15.3 points, 3.6 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game as a senior at the MacDuffie School (Granby, Massachusetts). He was a 1,000-point scorer in high school.
The Titans are led by Davis, who is entering his second season with the program. Davis previously coached at Indiana, where he led the Hoosiers to the 2002 national championship game, and Texas Southern, where he spent six seasons building the Tigers into a perennial power in the Southwestern Athletic Conference with four NCAA Tournament appearances.