Future UK basketball player introduced at Rupp Arena again. This time, it’s DJ Wagner.
Perhaps a new tradition is being born inside Rupp Arena.
A pair of incoming 2023 UK men’s basketball players — Robert Dillingham and Reed Sheppard — were introduced to a raucous Kentucky crowd last weekend during the Cats’ game against Kansas.
On Saturday night, it happened again.
DJ Wagner, another member of Kentucky’s top-ranked 2023 recruiting class, was unveiled to the Rupp Arena crowd during UK’s home game against Florida.
Wagner, along with fellow 2023 signee Aaron Bradshaw, played a game with Camden (N.J.) High School on Friday night in Frankfort on the campus of Kentucky State University.
Camden defeated Combine Academy (N.C.) 80-57. Bradshaw scored 21 points and Wagner had 18 in the victory, which came in front of plenty of UK fans.
UK head coach John Calipari made reference to another potential public appearance at a Kentucky game by a future Wildcat during his weekly radio show Wednesday night.
“The crowd carried us, it was unbelievable. How about introducing Reed? How about introducing Robert?” Calipari said, making reference to last week’s visitors. “We may have a couple of guests get introduced in this game (Florida) because we have some teams playing in here that some of our guys are gonna be in. That environment is what makes this program what it is.”
On Friday afternoon, prior to Camden’s game in Frankfort, both Bradshaw and Wagner stopped by Calipari’s office and posed for a photo with Calipari and UK assistant coach Chin Coleman.
Both Calipari and Coleman were in Frankfort on Friday night to watch Camden play. They were joined by a small army of current UK players, including Antonio Reeves, Jacob Toppin, Lance Ware, Adou Thiero and Chris Livingston.
Earlier this week, Bradshaw, Wagner and small forward signee Justin Edwards were all named semifinalists for the Naismith Trophy High School Player of the Year, which is awarded annually by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.
Had a great time this morning with a couple of special visitors!! pic.twitter.com/0T19ETn6xq
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) February 3, 2023
Kentucky hosts Billy Richmond on unofficial visit
In addition to providing UK fans with an advanced look at what Bradshaw and Wagner will bring to the Cats next season, there was further recruiting business done this weekend with Camden in the area.
The Wildcats hosted Camden class of 2024 shooting guard Billy Richmond for an unofficial visit.
Kentucky offered Richmond a scholarship right at the end of 2022, and there’s plenty of existing ties between him and the UK program.
Beyond the obvious connections of Bradshaw and Wagner, there’s also Ware: The current UK junior forward also went to Camden. Current UK junior guard Kareem Watkins is from Camden, and he is an older brother of Wagner.
Additionally, Richmond’s father played for Calipari at Memphis in the early 2000s, after transferring to Memphis from Vanderbilt.
The elder Richmond was dismissed from the Memphis program, but he remains in the city as the founder and CEO of The Wing Guru, a popular burger and wings restaurant chain.
According to The Commercial Appeal, Calipari has ordered postgame food from the restaurant for his UK teams before.
Before joining Camden this season, the younger Richmond played at East High School in Memphis.
Richmond took an unofficial visit to Louisville on Saturday.
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‘I was at home.’ Bradshaw, Wagner bring the Camden High School show to UK basketball fans.