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By LARRY VAUGHT
She was holding two basketballs, two camp T-shirts and two backpacks, but Harrodsburg’s Christie McGlone wasn’t going to miss a chance to take a picture of her two sons with Kentucky basketball senior Jarrod Polson — or any UK coach or player at Monday’s John Calipari Satellite Camp at Boyle County High School.
McGlone managed to balance everything and still take pictures on her cell phone before the start of the three-hour camp.
“I have three boys and two of them (Collin, 12, and Christian, 8) are here. The other one is at church camp,” she said. “It was their idea to come. They both play basketball and love UK.”
Of course, she also had own a UK shirt.
“I think that love does run in the family,” she laughed and said. “We have season tickets and go to a lot of games and take the boys all the time. We all love UK.”
Not only did her sons get their picture with Calipari, but she got one with the Kentucky coach, too.
“I think he (Calipari) has a great personality and is really professional with everything he does,” McGlone said. “I just hope the kids enjoyed getting their picture with him as much as I did.”
That would have been a familiar theme as all 80 camp participants seemed to have one or more UK fans with them that also wanted pictures or autographs from Calipari, his assistant coaches (John Robic, Orlando Antigua and Kenny Payne) or players Alex Poythress, Polson, Todd Lanter and Brian Long.
Danville’s Leroy Boone, a Lincoln County Middle School teacher, had his 8-year-old stepson, Christopher Grier, at the camp.
“He came last year and loved it, so we are back,” Boone said. “It’s just a great opportunity to meet the coaches and players, so why not come back.
“We were hoping Willie Cauley-Stein would be here, but as long as Calipari was here, we’re fine. But my son really loves coach Antigua after coming last year. He just has such a great personality. Chris also likes it that he was a Globetrotter before he coached.”
Lexington’s Candi Garrison was the last person in the autograph line. She didn’t have anyone at the camp, but had a special purpose for the trip . She needed Calipari’s autograph on a special, limited edition print by Danville artist Anne Crawford showing each of the UK coaches — Adolph Rupp, Joe Hall, Rick Pitino, Tubby Smith and Calipari — who won a national championship with the Wildcats. She already had been able to get Hall, Smith and Pitino to sign the print and Monday she added Calipari’s signature to her two prints.
“I got Tubby when he was back in Lexington for a Derby party and got Joe when I went to where he did his radio show,” Garrison said. “Rick was in Lexington for the NCAA, and I got him then. But I had never been able to track down coach Cal and I knew he would be here today. He’s always on the road or doing something, so I knew this would be my chance and I didn’t want to miss it.”
She bought the print for $100 because it was “rare and unique.” She has autographed Maker’s Mark bottles and basketballs, but nothing quite like the print.
“It’s going to be hard to top this now,” she said. “I don’t know of many people who have these because I think there were only 200 prints. And now I have all the autographs (except for Rupp who is deceased).”
Garrison even made sure Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry got a copy of the print.
“He is such a huge Calipari fan. Actually, he’s just a die-hard UK fan. I wish I could have got his print signed,” she said.
Garrison also brought a special treat for Calipari — red velvet cake.
“That’s his favorite. He’s mentioned that online before, so I just thought I would bring him some for taking the time to autograph my print,” she said.