Vaught's Views: Dominican team's exhibition vs. UK legends will be televised

August 13, 2011|By LARRY VAUGHT |

Kentucky fans who don’t have a ticket for Monday night’s exhibition game between the Dominican Republic national team coached by John Calipari and a team of ex-Kentucky players now playing in the NBA led by John Wall, Rajon Rondo and DeMarcus Cousins will still be able to see the game.
While there’s been no official announcement — that should come tonight — the 7:30 p.m. exhibition game between John Calipari’s Dominican team and the legends team that will include John Wall, Rajon Rondo and DeMarcus Cousins will be shown on WKYT-TV in Lexington, WYMT-TV in Hazard and WBKO-TV in Bowling Green as part of a package produced by Gray Television.
Other stations could also be added to the mix when the official word comes out tonight, and the game will certainly be shown in the Dominican Republic, either with the local feed interpreted in Spanish or perhaps with a play-by-play crew calling the game in Spanish courtside at Rupp Arena.
The local broadcast will feature Dave Baker on play-by-play, Christi Thomas on color and Rob Bromley doing courtside interviews and commentary.
Tuesday’s game at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville apparently will not be televised, partially because the game is not sold out as the one in Lexington is.
Several sources involved with the TV negotiations says it has been a “complex kind of arrangement” that has taken far longer to work out than any normal televised contract would. However, there is now an agreement to show Monday’s game so Kentucky fans can watch the ex-Wildcats go against the Dominican team.
While both the NCAA and Kentucky have insisted they have had no part in dictating how the game broadcast can be handled, sources indicate there has been plenty of “advice” given by both about how this production must work.
But the bottom line for Kentucky fans is that they now get to see Wall, Rondo, Cousins and others perform against a team that includes two former Louisville standouts — Francisco Garcia and Edgar Sosa — who are both now raving about Calipari.
“I’m not going to lie,” Sosa, who once drained a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to beat Kentucky, said Friday. “I love playing for coach Cal. He’s given me a lot of opportunity and a lot of freedom to show my game.”
He knows some Louisville fans might not understand his praise of Calipari.
“I’m always going to be a Cardinal, but right now I’m playing for the Dominican National Team, and I¿like playing for coach Cal. You hear all these stories about the fans and how the Big Blue Nation is a bunch of rude guys, but it’s nice out here (in Lexington).”
Garcia, Cousins’ teammate with the Sacramento Kings is a Calipari fan, too.
“He’s real, and I like it,” Garcia said. “I hope he’ll be the coach for a lot of years for us.”

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