James Ulis on UK coaches: “They taught him how to be a professional”

James Ulis (Vicky Graff Photo)

James Ulis (Vicky Graff Photo)


When Tyler Ulis announced he was leaving Kentucky for the NBA, his father, James, repeated a them that has become common for players leaving college early.

“I thought Cal and Coach (Kenny) Payne who acted as a father to him while he was here – We had several conversations or a few over the last couple of years. I think they taught him how to be a professional,” James  Ulis said.

“They taught him how to be accountable. They taught just how important it is that you show up right every day. If you’re going to be a point guard you got to be a leader on and off the court.”

James Ulis works for Nike and has been around successful athletes. He never doubted his son’s ability but also understands how much he grew as a player and person at Kentucky.

“It says a lot about Kentucky and how they raise young men. I think I can speak to a lot of kids I’ve met on the team the last couple of years that this staff here does a great job. From an academic – Mike Stone – to all the trainers, what I saw and what you see on TV it’s not the same. I’m definitely pleased with how they handled my son,” James  Ulis said.

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