The Wildcats had a surprise guest waiting for them outside their locker room after Sunday’s victory over North Carolina.
“That in itself was a pretty nice experience to add on to (the Final Four),” guard Darius Miller told the Louisville Courier Journal. “Going to the Final Four (is bigger) by far. But still, Jay-Z. It’s crazy. This whole day has been crazy. I’m still taking it all in.”
The visit from Jay-Z was reminiscent of last year’s NCAA tournament when rapper Drake would regularly show up in the Kentucky locker room after victories. He later invited the Wildcats on stage during an offseason show in Lexington, also leading a C-A-T-S cheer and performing the John Wall dance on stage.
The association with celebrities like Ashley Judd, Drake and LeBron James is another perk Calipari can emphasize to give Kentucky an advantage on the recruiting trail. Just like the Showtime Lakers attracted players and fans because of their ties to Hollywood, Kentucky is quickly becoming college basketball’s answer to that.
The presence of Jay-Z was certainly enough to excite freshman forward Terrence Jones on Sunday.
“I said, ‘Oh that’s Jay-Z!'” Jones told the Courier-Journal. “We all gave him a handshake and he came in the locker room, and we just kept screaming ‘Jay-Z in the locker room!’ He congratulated us, just said he was proud of us.”