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Davion Mintz says the call from Calipari was “like a dream come true”

Davion Mintz
Chelsea Nicholson | Creighton Athletics

Kentucky’s 2020-21 roster got deeper and experienced with the commitment of Davion Mintz, who announced his plans to transfer to Kentucky on Friday.

The Creighton graduate transfer provides John Calipari something he was missing before Friday, a player with NCAA Tournament experience.

“BBN, I’m thrilled, humble and hungry to be part of the UK family,” Mintz posted to social media. “I look forward to earning your trust and respect through my commitment, experience, and hard work every day. I am immensely thankful to the Kentucky Wildcats, Coach Calipari and his staff for extending me an opportunity to continue my college basketball career as a Wildcat.

Related: Watch: 20 Minutes of Davion Mintz Creighton Highlights

Related: Mintz Intentionally Committed to Kentucky at 10:17 a.m. 

Related: Davion Mintz has a Message for Big Blue Nation

“To my new teammates, and fans you can believe and trust in me. I look forward to meeting all of you. I can’t wait to arrive to Big Lex and get to work!”

As a junior, Mintz averaged 9.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists while knocking down 43 three-pointers and swiping 40 steals. He had a number of impressive performances, including a career night with 21 points and 5 made three pointers vs. Marquette in 2019.

Mintz started 79 games for the Bluejays during his first three seasons with the program. Prior to his senior season in 2019-20, Mintz suffered a high ankle sprain. Instead of missing half of his senior season which would’ve been his final opportunity to improve before pursuing a professional career, he chose to redshirt in December and retain the year of eligibility.

Since committing to the Wildcats, Mintz recorded a video interview with Jamie Shaw of the Absolute Basketball Experience. In the interview, Shaw asked Mintz to describe what it was like the first time he talked to John Calipari.

“First I’d say it’s crazy, Mintz said. “Just to have him call and say, ‘Hey, I watched your film, I know who you are, I like your game.’ It was like a dream come true. I feel like next to the NBA, every kids dream is to play blueblood basketball. So just to see a guy so humble, so down to earth, very genuine, it was very shocking. Not to say that I thought any different of him. It was very, very out of body experience almost.”

Mintz didn’t name schools but he said programs from the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Mountain West and SEC reached out when he entered the transfer portal earlier this month.

Calipari was looking for a veteran leader when he reached out to Mintz about joining the Kentucky basketball program.

“Just a leader. They wanted a guy with experience that’s been through situations. I refer to myself as a bottom boy. I didn’t have anything given to me. I had to work for it. They want a guy that’s playing with and without the ball in his hands, someone able to lead. Someone that can show the ropes and for me, I think I’m expecting to use my experience to make an impact immediately, help lead and just put myself and this team in the best position to be successful.”

You can watch the entire interview in the video below. Mintz discusses Calipari and Kentucky around the 14 minute mark of the video.

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