Varsity Kansas

Heights hosts a slew of big-name college coaches

It was open gym at Heights on Monday night. That meant that any student in the school could come and play basketball. High school coaches aren’t allowed, so the players played pick-up games and then summer basketball coach Steve Young ran some extra drills after the open gym for a handful of players.

These types of nights play out across Kansas. But few do it with the type of coaches who were in attendance at Heights _ Kentucky’s John Calipari, Louisville’s Rick Pitino, Kansas’ Bill Self, Kansas State’s Frank Martin, Stanford’s Johnny Dawkins, Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall. There were also assistants from Kentucky, Louisville, Memphis, Missouri and Texas A&M.

It was surreal to walk into that gym and see all those men sitting on Heights folding chairs alongside the court. But all were gracious and most of them sat telling stories or joking.

Heights has had plenty of coaches come through open gyms, practices and games. But to have that many head coaches was impressive indeed.

One of the most amusing moments was listening to Bill Self tease Frank Martin about Martin’s halftime speech during the Xavier game in the NCAA Tournament. As Self said, ‘Silly’ is not a four-letter word.

That cracked up everyone.

John Calipari, who I already followed on Twitter, told me how he tweeted to have everyone vote for Erin Andrews on Dancing with the Stars. He’s got power, folks. 1.4 million followers. Yeah, I have 415 followers for @joannachadwick. What can we do about that?

Perry Ellis and Evan Wessel took the night in stride. They’ve been in that situation before. Ellis said he doesn’t get nervous anymore, and Wessel said he was just glad to be playing basketball.

Wessel has orally committed to Wichita State.

Ellis hasn’t committed, and there’s little doubt that the coaches were there to show their faces to him.

Terrence Moore did impress multiple coaches, though.