When Creighton’s playmaker Davion Mintz announced that he would be entering the NCAA transfer portal on April 3, the 6 foot 3 inch senior encountered a plethora of large program phone calls to across the country.
He never announced which schools actively recruited him out of respect for those involved, but the options were certainly there.
“It was a very interesting recruitment process, a lot schools reached out, “said Mintz in an interview with Jamie Shaw Absolute basketball experience. “For the privacy of me and these schools, I decided to keep it at home and [quiet]. But there were ACC, SEC, Big 10, Big 12, PAC-12 and Mountain West schools. It varied from many areas, but many of the big schools called. It was a very difficult and difficult decision to make, but I just went with the one that seemed to put me in the best position [for the future]. “
Of all the phone calls he received, one in particular stood out.
His conversation with Kentucky head coach John Calipari, Mintz said, was an “out of body experience” and a “dream come true.”
“First of all, I would say it’s crazy,” said Mintz. “To hear, I would say, a legend, a Hall of Fame. Just to hear him call and say, “Hey, I watched your movie, I know who you are, I love your game.” It was like a dream come true. I mean, I feel like I’m next to the NBA, all the kids dream of playing blue blood basketball. So just to see such a humble, down to earth, very authentic guy, it was just very shocking. Not to say that I thought different from him. It was almost an out of body experience. “
What was Calipari looking for?
“Just a leader. They wanted a guy with experience who went through situations, “said Mintz in the interview. “I consider myself a boy from the bottom. I did not receive anything. I had to work there. They want a guy who plays with and without the ball in his hands, someone who can lead. Someone who can show the ropes and for me, I think I expect to use my experience to have an impact immediately, help lead and put myself and this team in the best position to succeed. “
The most recent Kentucky leader said Calipari’s professional approach had a “huge effect” on his decision, adding that the passion of the British head coach to help his players achieve their dreams made him want to become a Wildcat.
“It was a huge effect. Coach Cal puts his players in the best position, challenges himself every day, “said Mintz. “Have charisma and fight for whatever they want. I think my relationship that I built with him, just the support he has for our aspirations as players, he takes responsibility and says, “Okay, if you work, your dreams are my dreams . It makes me want to play for a guy like that and give it my all. “
What does Kentucky get in Creighton’s transfer of custody? A player who likes to be in the spotlight.