For the good times... (Associated Press) For the good times… (Associated Press)

John Wall spent only one season at Kentucky, but his ties to the program and Wildcats Coach John Calipari remain as solid as ever. Wall returns to Lexington, Ky., each summer and now, the first Kentucky player to go No. 1 overall in the NBA draft will go back on Oct. 19 to play a preseason game at historic Rupp Arena.

The Bluegrass Sports Commission announced on Wednesday that the Wizards will take on the New Orleans Pelicans, who feature members of Kentucky’s 2012 national championship team – Anthony Davis, the 2012 No. 1 pick, and Wall’s former college teammate Darius Miller. The exhibition will be the first NBA preseason game at Rupp Arena in 13 years.

The Wizards have yet to release their preseason schedule, but it is already shaping up to be filled with intriguing matchups and homecomings.

Nene is already slated to return to his native Brazil on Oct. 12, when the Wizards will face the Chicago Bulls in Rio de Janeiro. The game will also serve as former most valuable player Derrick Rose’s first game since he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in April 2012.

The Wizards will open the preseason on Oct. 8 at home against the new-look Brooklyn Nets, who acquired Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Andrei Kirilenko and Jason Terry this offseason. They are also expected to host four-time MVP LeBron James and the two-time defending champion Miami Heat and have scheduled a game against Cleveland Cavaliers all-star and 2011 No. 1 overall pick Kyrie Irving  in Cincinnati.

The NBA is yet to release the Wizards’ regular season schedule, but Washington is expected to open the season against the Detroit Pistons.


Wizards willing to take risk on Wall’s max contract.

Wall confident that he can live up to expectations.

Wall faces tough climb for Team USA.

Wall humbled by chance to play for Team USA.

Wall: “I need to be in the playoffs”