While in Lexington on Monday to participate in an exhibition game between former Kentucky stars in the NBA and the Dominican Republic, John Wall told the Associated Press that he might actually take up Kentucky Coach John Calipari’s offer to return to school and continue his education while working out on campus during the lockout.
“I’m trying to see if I can take some classes on campus, and if the lockout ends I can finish online,” said Wall, who is pursuing a degree in business management. “I wanted to be the first person in my family to get a college degree, although I’m probably going to be the second one now. My sister [Cierra] is going to be a sophomore, so she’s ahead of me. Nobody had an opportunity to go to college in my family.”
Wall was a member of the Southeastern Conference freshman academic honor roll and completed two semesters and two summers’ worth of classes in his one season. Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, Philadelphia 76ers guard Jodie Meeks and Wall’s former teammates at Kentucky, Eric Bledsoe and DeMarcus Cousins are also considering using the lockout as an opportunity to pursue degrees.
“It will just feel like the college life all over,” he said. “It’s like I’m extending it into the NBA.”
Wall scored 15 points during a 106-88 loss to a Dominican Republic team that featured NBA players Al Horford of the Atlanta Hawks and Sacramento Kings guard Francisco Garcia. Wall got the crowd at Kentucky’s Rupp Arena to erupt when he elevated high above the rim to catch an alley-oop pass from from District native Keith Bogans during an exhibition between former Wildcat stars in the NBA and the Dominican Republic.
After the game, Wall said the atmosphere at NBA arenas was “nothing close” to what he experienced in Lexington. “It was emotional walking out there and hearing our names called and playing in front of 24,000,” Wall said.
When asked to compare the environment in Washington to the one in Lexington, Wall said it was “nothing close. We didn’t have no packed crowd like this. I think Kentucky fans are totally different. I think they are the best fans in the world. College basketball, NBA, high school, they are the best fans. They still show support even though we’re gone from here. We wanted to come back.”
And, he may be on his way back in the fall.