Friday, June 22, 2007

Meeting Jules Camara

I met former Kentucky basketball player Jules Camara last night at Giuseppe's. I immediately recognized the slender 7 footer as he came in for dinner. He was a favorite of mine from Tubby Smith's #1 ranked 2002-2003 team. His athletism and size made the Dakar, Senegal native a promising NBA prospect while being a valuable sixth man off Kentucky's bench. I also remembered that he was an outstanding student and spoke three languages well.

Jules told me that he had just completed a professional basketball season in Turkey. He said that he really enjoyed the season, made some money, gained valuable experience, but that there was a whole lot of travel involved. When I asked if he was able to communicate well in that country, he told me that he was picking up the language slowly, that he now spoke four languages and is working on a fifth. He explained to me that the Dallas Mavericks have invited him to camp for a tryout and that he was excited about being able to compete against NBA MVP Dirk Nowitski, arguably the best 7 foot player in the world today. He is hopeful to get a shot playing for an NBA team.

He told me that he stays in touch with many former UK teamates including Cliff Hawkins (playing professionally in Italy), Marquis Estill (having a huge career overseas, but is just coming off knee surgery), and Antoine Barber (having a successful professional career overseas as well). He looked great, impressed me as a quality individual, and was very personable and easy to like. Jules enjoyed the fine dinner and my music. I look forward to seeing him again.


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