It has taken me awhile to write this, because I took several days to actually reflect on what I had the opportunity to do.
I was blessed with the opportunity to not only go to Coach John Calipari’s house, but also go inside, watch Selection Sunday with the team (even though they were a bit late), and conduct some interviews. Are you serious? Like… did that really happen? It did.
Was I nervous?
Not at all. Yes, a bit. I wasn’t nervous being around Cal or the players… it was more of the environment. When I conduct interviews throughout the season, it’s very structured, so I can’t screw up too much. Whereas at Cal’s house watching the players interact and me not trying to geek out too much was what brought more anxiety on. When they walked in… the room got pretty silent:
— Andrew Bishop (@andrewbishup) March 13, 2017
I’m a pretty outgoing person, but sometimes around certain people I freeze and my palms sweat a lot #highschoolalloveragain. Briscoe would tell a joke to Monk and I’d want to laugh, however, at the same time, I didn’t want to be that awkward guy, so I laughed inside. You know what I mean? Like, I’m not a Kentucky Basketball player (hurts saying that), so I can’t joke with the team like I was part of the team, so I found myself several times not trying to be that weird media guy who thought he was ‘one of the boys‘.
What I thought was pretty interesting (and I believe it took being in this environment to realize it) was the fact that these players are just like us. Granted they may have more athletic ability than my Church-league basketball career, but all-in-all… they’re college kids. I think I can say kids even though I’m 28 and act like a 12-year-old most times, but you get the point.
“What do you mean Andrew?” I mean that they’re on their phones, they listen to music, they’re tired from playing three games in three days, they joke with each other… etc. It’s so easy sometimes to make these student-athletes… almost… ‘unhuman’. We elevate them so high that sometimes we take the human-element away from them, or… at least I do. De’Aaron literally fell asleep on the couch, haha.
So while Kentucky is about to start their tournament play today (and hopefully lead to title number nine), remember, they’re just like us… human… just with a lot more athletic ability, more Twitter and Instagram followers, and more people texting/calling them, haha!
Win or lose this March Madness… don’t forget this… they’re human and they are going to do the very best they can.