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  • Calipari Fantasy Camper, former 101 Club member making a difference in Haiti


    As a journalist, there are a lot of times in your career when you have to search for stories – dig into small details to find the one that could make a story.

    But there are other times when the good stories just walk up to you and announce themselves, and that’s what happened with Eric Mobley and Jim Potter at Calipari’s Fantasy Experience last weekend.

    On the agenda of Cal’s camp for Friday night was a trip to WinStar Farm, a thoroughbred horse farm in Versailles, where participants would get together for the famous Kentucky mint juleps and a night of relaxation.

    It somehow ended up that I was sitting next to Mobley and Potter while we all ate the (delicious) food provided for us, and we struck up a conversation. Potter started telling stories about Adolph Rupp, and soon had everyone hooked.

    Wait, rewind. That Adolph Rupp?

    Well, is there any other?

    It turns out that Potter is a former member of the “101 Club” (think: the blue jackets at Rupp Arena) during Rupp’s and Joe B. Hall’s tenures at UK. He went on recruiting trips to high schools with the coach and even got to travel to SEC tournaments with the team.

    Of course, with Rupp in tow, a trip to Nashville for the SEC tournament was never just a road trip.

    “Kentucky had lost, and he (Rupp) really liked his Jack Daniels after a loss, so I got to drive him back to Lexington from Nashville,” Potter said. “He was about half a bottle in, and we stopped at a Denny’s or a Shoney’s or one of those, to eat. The waitress asked us for our drink orders. Rupp just said, ‘Now honey, don’t offer us any alcoholic beverages. We’re Mormon.’”

    Potter says that was one of the more memorable moments he shared with The Baron, but admitted that there were many more.

    Potter, now the director of corporate relations for the MBA Center at the University of Kentucky, wasn’t actually a participant of the Calipari Experience, however. Instead, he was Eric Mobley’s guest for the portion of the camp at WinStar Farm. Mobley, a former Transylvania University basketball player, has known Potter for years, dating back to when they were tennis partners about ten years ago.

    One might think that Kentucky basketball (or just basketball in general) is what connects Potter and Mobley. Instead, the biggest connecting factor is about 1500 miles away: Haiti.

    Mobley and Potter have started their own foundation, the Kentucky-Haiti Partnership, that funds two students per year to leave Haiti and come to study at the University of Kentucky – for four years. This year, for the first time, two girls will be funded.

    The two founders have also travelled to Haiti to do further work in the country. Mobley, a pediatric dentist who currently lives in Atlanta, has performed hundreds of dental procedures on children in Haiti.

    Kentucky basketball itself will also serve to help the Kentucky-Haiti Partnership. Mobley, as a current Atlanta resident, acquired six tickets to the Kentucky-Duke game in the Georgia Dome this year, and is donating them to an auction the foundation is having this Sunday, September 23. The program also will be holding a dinner at Malone’s that day.

    If you are interested in donating or learning more about the Kentucky-Haiti Partnership, I would be happy to put you in contact with one of these two.

    As for the rest of Potter’s Rupp stories? Well, he might have to write a book for that one.
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. dan_bgblue's Avatar
      dan_bgblue -
      Fun read Ashley. Thanks, and if you decide to in the future, I would love to read a few more tales about The Baron.

      UK basketball affects lives in many corners of the world, from the folks in Haiti to the soldiers scattered around the globe that follow the Cats on Armed Forces Radio or on the internet.
    1. Darrell KSR's Avatar
      Darrell KSR -
      Very much enjoyed that; love old Adolph stories.
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