Newly-Hired Jai Lucas on UK Basketball Program: “This place recruits itself.”

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Newly-Hired Jai Lucas on UK Basketball Program: “This place recruits itself.”

(Image from UK Athletics)

Kentucky officially hired former Texas assistant Jai Lucas to the basketball staff as a special assistant to the head coach and recruiting coordinator.

Lucas was initially recruited by UK as a player in 2007 before choosing to play at Florida. He told the media on Wednesday that he was super close to in fact picking the Cats.

”I was coming — I was coming to Kentucky until coach Tubby Smith took the Minnesota job,” he said.

Now fast forward 13 years later, and Lucas was once again recruited by UK, this time to join the basketball staff. UK Head Coach John Calipari played a part in the recruitment, but Lucas also gave credit to the program itself.

”If you’re about basketball, it’s hard to say no to Kentucky,” he said. “This place recruits itself.”

Lucas spent a little time recruiting against Kentucky at Texas, and said you have to sell personal relationships when going up against the Cats for a recruit because the UK program has so much prestige.

Even with selling personal relationships, Lucas admitted to the media that when recruiting against the Cats, “It’s almost impossible to win.”

In relation to the protests for racial equality, the UK basketball team recently released a video on social media of the players expressing how important their lives are and supporting the black community overall. Lucas called the video “amazing,” and called for the end of division among people.

”People need to together, to have communication, to have conversations, whether you’re for it or against it,” he said.

The UK basketball staff is now locked up and ready to go. Now, we wait to hear a decision from the NCAA on the eligibility of Wake Forest transfer Olivier Sarr.



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