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By LARRY VAUGHT
While heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s an admitted John Calipari fan, there was a time that former Clarion State College coach Joe DeGregorio left Calipari stranded in Philadelphia because he was late for a team bus.
DeGregorio, an ex-Marine who now likes to spend time playing golf with Ã¢â‚¬Å“JohnnyÃ¢â‚¬Â as he calls him, says his team has to travel by vans when it went to play at the time Calipari played for him.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We were playing Philly Textile, which wasÃ‚Â ranked sixth or something in Division II. At our pregame meal, Johnny wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t there. So we went to the game without him,Ã¢â‚¬Â DeGregorio said.
What happened? Where was Calipari? Why was he late?
Ã¢â‚¬Å“He will tell you we had five or six players in a room and he was the last guy in the shower and and a lot of other stuff. We left and that night we sat him out for amount of time after he got to the game,Ã¢â‚¬Â DeGregorio said.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We lost that game. John now says to his coaching staff if the top seven players are on our bus, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s when we leave. It was a lesson he learned from me that was not really the lesson I wanted to teach.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“But seriously, I taught him about being on time. Ninety-nine percent of the time he was on time, too. We wereÃ‚Â on a tight (time) budget. We did leave him. He had to get his own breakfast, and then we didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t play him. I am not saying we lost because Johnny did not start because they had good club and they beat us. But he probably still feels that way to this day.Ã¢â‚¬Â