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Home for all information on "One and Fun" the definitive book on the 2009-2010 Kentucky Wildcats.
First off, thank you for your interest in my new book, “One and Fun: A Behind the Scenes Look at John Calipari and the 2010 Kentucky Wildcats.”
Before I get to your questions, let me start by saying this: If you love Kentucky basketball, or college hoops specifically you’ll love this book. Please understand that I’m not saying that as the author who wrote the book, but instead, as an avid reader and sports fan that enjoys great story-telling. This is a book that you will enjoy.
Still, I know some of you are on the fence about buying it. That’s why I wanted to take a few minutes, and hopefully answer any questions you have.
Of course for any additional questions, please feel free to e-mail me at KentuckyBasketballBook@gmail.com and I will personally answer them there. I am also available on Twitter @Aaron_Torres to answer your questions as well.
Anyway, here goes, and let’s start with the simplest question.
What is this book about?
“One and Fun” is an in-depth look at John Calipari’s first team at Kentucky, the 2009-2010 squad that featured John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson and others.
In terms of the content, well, I cover it all: I write about Kentucky’s disastrous 2009 season, and how a missed NCAA Tournament led to the hire of Calipari. I talk about how Calipari wrestled with his decision to leave Memphis, and how he convinced a group of high school superstars to join him in Lexington.
I write about the arrival of the freshmen, and how they bonded with older players. I discuss the early season struggles, big wins over North Carolina and UConn (check out the excerpt page for more information), and the emergence of John Wall as a superstar. I go straight through a wild SEC Tournament run (with great video below) all the way to the end, when Kentucky became the first program ever to have five players selected in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Basically, I hit it all, with depth and detail that can’t be found anywhere else. I tell stories that many Kentucky fans have never heard, and others which have long been forgotten.
Again, this book really does take the reader behind the scenes, into a season that fans will never forget.
Ok, that’s interesting, but why a book on the 2010 team? It seems kind of random?
Come on man! I explained this all on the front of the website!
But since you need a refresher, here’s the most important thing you need to know: This was never intended to be a book.
It all started as an article about the 2010 Wildcats, which I originally wrote for FoxSports.com in March of 2015.
But what I realized after writing the article was that the article wasn’t enough. Something more needed to be written about this team, something more in-depth. There was too much information, too many good stories and too many funny anecdotes which never made the original story, which I felt like had to be included.
What kind of stories?
Well how about the origins of the “John Wall Dance” and how the “John Wall Dance” was actually supposed to be the “DeMarcus Cousins Dance.” Or how Mississippi State fans got ahold of Cousins’ cell phone, and besieged him with calls, and how he responded by making the “Call Me” signal with his hand, after a big dunk during a game in Starkville. Or how about the story of how the 2010 Wildcats once raised a million dollars for charity, and then got a call from the President of the United States as a thank you.
No, that actually happened! The President of the United States called the Kentucky basketball team. During the season.
The simple truth is that this team deserved a book for so many different reasons. They had talent yes, but personality as well, and really were “larger than life.” There have been great Kentucky teams before and since, but few that were as dynamic as Wall, Cousins and company.
At the same time there’s another thing that’s been forgotten about this team: How important the team was.
It’s easy to think about Kentucky now as a “one-and-done” factory, that school that puts guys into the NBA, competes for Final Four’s every year, and won the 2012 National Championship.
But none of it would be possible --- at least not to the level it’s been done --- without the 2010 team doing it first.
That all sounds well and good, but who did you interview for the book?
I’m glad you asked.
If you read the original article, you know that I did my best to interview every single person I could possibly track down that was affiliated with the 2010 team. All those interviews were used as part of the book, and I also interviewed a few others as well.
In terms of specifics, here’s what you need to know.
I interviewed John Calipari, where he gave me exclusive insight into who he is, the challenges that he faced Year 1 in Lexington, and how important that 2010 team was for all the success that UK has had since.
I spoke with the players; John Wall told me about the recruiting process, and why he had dreamed of playing for Calipari two years before he committed to Kentucky. I talked to Eric Bledsoe, about why he elected to play alongside Wall when he easily could have been a star somewhere else. Veterans like Patrick Patterson, Ramon Harris and Mark Krebs told me about the transition to Calipari, and how they adjusted to the freshmen superstars.
And outside of those guys, there was everyone else. I interviewed former assistants like Orlando Antigua and Rod Strickland, about how much Calipari struggled with the move from Memphis. Former Director of Basketball Operations Martin Newton told me why he gave up a lucrative career as an executive at Nike to come to Lexington and work for Calipari. Fans told stories of travel experiences, team managers like Chad Sanders shared details from the locker room that only someone who lived through it all would know.
Again, this is the most in-depth, detailed look at the 2010 Kentucky basketball team that’s ever been written.
It might be the most in-depth story about any John Calipari team that has ever been written as well.
Why should I buy this book?
Man, that last line didn’t sell you?
Again, I can only say this as someone who not only wrote, but has read, and re-read the book several times over during the editing process: This book is a damn fun read. It’s fast-paced, full of fun anecdotes, and easy to get through.
Basically, it’s a book that I would buy with my own money if someone else had written it. It’s also the type of book that a Kentucky fan will buy, read a chapter, then another one, and before he or she knows it, will be done with the book. The kind that you take with you on a tropical vacation to read by the pool, then end up with a sunburn because you spent three hours sitting there, combing through every page.
Simply put, this is a must-read for any Kentucky fan, college hoops fan, or even NBA fan who has grown to love John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins or any other former Wildcat player.
This is a book you will enjoy, you won’t be able to put down, and you will buy for your friends and family because you want to share it with them as well.
You will love this book. And you can buy it here.
Of course if you have any further questions, I’ll be glad to answer them, either by e-mail at KentuckyBasketballBook@gmail.com, or Twitter @Aaron_Torres. Happy reading, and be sure to send me pictures when the book arrives!