Posted: Nov 4, 2010 9:10 PM by Mary Jo Perino
What a night for Dale Brown.
The former sharp-shooting Kentucky Wildcat is coming back, but this time as a coach.
"It's like a dream come true. Coach Cal really reached out and gave me a helping hand. It's really a lot of exposure for our program. I can't believe this is happening to me, you know, it's like a kid in a candy store. I'm so excited about it. My guys are excited about it. This means so much to our university and I just don't have the words," said Brown during a Thursday night practice at Rupp Arena.
Brown is now the head coach of the Dillard Bleu Devils, who just happen to be Kentucky's next opponent. While his team has played against big division one programs, he knows his players haven't seen anything like this.
"They were really freaking out on the building when we came in last night. They were looking at the size of the building. I said 'Wait until you get inside and see how it looks when the people are there'."
Brown played at Kentucky from 1991-1993. He was known for his shooting, and says the players he coaches knows he can still shoot.
"They know," said Brown smiling.
"I play them one-on-one a lot. I'm a little chubby now but I still get out there and mess around with them."
So is he the best shooter on the team?
"No doubt. I'm still the best shooter here and for Dillard right now."
While Kentucky will always be in Brown's heart, trying to build something at a school like Dillard isn't easy. He's working long hours and sometimes it's still not enough. Because of his schedule, Brown hasn't been able to follow the Cats as closely as he would like.
"I bleed blue but I've been so busy trying to get my program where it needs to be."
Brown has know John Calipari since the mid-90's and isn't surprised the Cal reached out to help him, but he is certainly appreciative. Brown still keeps in touch with some of his former teammates, Jared Prickett, Chris Harrison, and he talks to Sean Woods all the time.
The memories are great, but Brown is focused on the task at hand and says playing Kentucky can only benefit his Bleu Devils.
"We're going to be ok. After getting this experience, when you're playing in front of 20,000 people, they shouldn't be scared of anybody in our league."