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By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky apparently has added another member to John CalipariÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s staff, but there has also been a defection.
Brandon Weems is now a graduate assistant at Kentucky according to FoxSports.com. That may not sound impressive, but consider that Weems was a teammate of NBA superstar LeBron James in high school and remains a close friend. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s probably why it was no coincidence that James showed up at UK during the summer and likely will come more times in the future Ã¢â‚¬â€ which has to be a good thing for recruiting.
While rumors continue to spread that there is going to be a national writer breaking a story dealing with UK basketball any time, the only confirmed news from UK is that Bilal Batley is gone.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Bilal Batley is no longer a member of the basketball staff at Kentucky,Ã¢â‚¬Â DeWayne Peevy, UKÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s associate athletics director for media relations, confirmed in an e-mail Tuesday night.
Batley was assistant director of basketball operations/manager last season at Memphis under Calipari and came to Kentucky to fill the same spot after Calipari was hired. Before that he was a graduate manager for a year at Indiana under coach Kelvin Sampson where he organized the program’s recruiting information and mentored student-athletes. He took graduate courses in Indiana’s sport management program. Prior to that he was a student-manager at Oklahoma for two seasons where he assisted with practice preparations and pre-game setup and organized recruiting mailings.
HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s also worked as an assistant coach/personal assistant at the John Lucas Pre-Draft Camp in Houston.
Batley served as an undergraduate assistant coach at Navarro College in Corsican, Texas, from 2001-04. In addition to his coaching duties, he managed study hall for the players and helped arrange promotional events for the team.
So why is he leaving Kentucky? No one is officially saying. Or at least not at this time.
Could his departure have something to do with the continual rumors about a breaking national story on UK basketball? Maybe. Maybe not. Who knows?
All that we do know is that Weems is at UK and Batley is not. After that, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s all speculation.