By LARRY VAUGHT
Knowing Nashville’s April Peal the way I do, it was no surprise to me that she managed not only to get her 9-year-old cousin’s daughter to the John Calipari Pro Camp, but she also managed to get pictures of both of them with UK coach John Calipari as well as photos with every other UK player at the camp.
Peal is an emergency room doctor, but she also sets her vacation schedule around the UK basketball schedule. She already has trips planned to watch the Wildcats in the Bahamas and Las Vegas this season.
I’ve seen her at the Marshall County Hoop Fest to watch future Cats and also seen her wearing a tutu at last season’s SEC Tournament. It’s no surprise 9-year-old Brooklyn is a basketball junkie, too.
“She is 9 and goes to Calloway County elementary in Murray. She started playing basketball last year and loves it. She is hoping to get to play on a traveling team this fall. The coach seems to think she should be able to make the team,” Peal said.
“It was her first camp outside of playing at school. She was definitely a bit nervous at first because there were so few girls and she was in a group with all boys. There was only about 12 girls there. However after a bit of encouragement, she was fine.
“She definitely loved it and had a great time. She asked before we even got out of the gym if we could go back next year. And the best part, her dad is a big Duke fan so I have to make sure she knows which blue team is the best and the one to cheer for!”
Never doubt that Peal can do that. Brooklyn’s smiles in all the photos with the players make it pretty obvious she not only had a good time, she had a great time.
Even though both former and current players are not at the camp all day, they pose for pictures and sign autographs (Peal made sure to get basketballs autographed as she always does).
“She didn’t really know what to expect about the camp and was just excited to high five and fist bump the players,” Peal said. “She wants to go back next year, and I’m sure I will take her.”
So am I.