LEXINGTON, Ky. – John Calipari likes to tell Kentucky basketball fans, “You people are crazy,” and he means it as a compliment. Freshman point guard De’Aaron Fox recently got a startling introduction to what his coach means.
As Fox and teammate Dillon Pulliam left the players’ lodge one night in search of a snack, they noticed a car idling nearby with its headlights off. Then, suddenly, a teenaged boy jumped out and ran toward them.
“Took a selfie with me and then ran back in the car and left,” Fox said. “That’s probably the weirdest thing I’ve experienced.”
The former 5-star recruit and projected NBA lottery pick knew Kentucky fans were passionate, but his first few months in Lexington have still be eye-opening. He had never seen anything like the hundreds of people camping out for days to get free tickets to Friday night’s Big Blue Madness event at Rupp Arena.
“You don’t really know until you experience it,” Fox said. But is it weird or awesome? “It’s awesomely weird. You like that it’s so much attention, but then sometimes you hate that every time you walk outside, it’s 100 people waiting for an autograph.”
Which leads us to another of Calipari’s favorite sayings: Kentucky basketball is not for everyone.