Signed and sealed: Calipari ‘really excited’ about Class of 2022 signees

Published 7:56 am Thursday, November 11, 2021

Kentucky signed four players to a national letter-of-intent during signing day on Wednesday.

The Wildcats landed Skyy Clark, Chris Livingston, Shaedon Sharpe and Carson Wallace, giving Kentucky coach John Calipari another talented class for next season and beyond. As expected, Sharpe will enroll at UK for the 2022 spring semester in January. He will practice but won’t play once he arrives on campus.

“I am really excited about this group,” Calipari said. “When you watch these guys play, the talent and upside is obvious, but what stands out to me about all four of them is how much they want this and want to be here. Their mentality and their drive separate them from their peers.

“They all wanted to play with one another and wanted the challenge of competing against the best every day. Big Blue Nation, I can’t wait for you to meet this group and watch them play.”

Clark, a point guard, averaged 26.4 points and 4.7 rebounds for Ensworth High School last season. He tore his ACL last summer after transferring to Montverde Academy in Florida.

“Why Kentucky? I chose to come to Kentucky because there’s no better place to be. From the coaching staff, to the culture, to the family, to the fans, there’s nothing like being a part of La Familia,” he said.

“Skyy was our first commitment in this class and is a tremendous leader,” Calipari said. “He’s a skilled point guard who can score it, who can pass it and who can create for his teammates. He has the physicality to get on someone and really guard. He is a terrific playmaker who is really going to mesh well with this group.”

Livingston, a power forward, averaged 31.1 points and 15.8 rebounds a game last season at Buchtel High School in Akron, Ohio and choose Kentucky “to become the best version of myself on and off the court.” He will play at Oak Hill Academy this season.

“Chris has everything that you look for in a wing: athleticism, speed, skill and a physicality to him,” Calipari said. “He can play and guard multiple positions and he can score the ball at all levels, but he can also impose himself physically on both ends of the floor. Chris can really be a challenge for opposing defenses.”

Sharpe is considered the No. 1 overall shooting guard in the current class and averaged 22.6 pints and 5.8 rebounds in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League. Sharpe said he felt like “Kentucky was the best fit for my playing style and the way I play. Kentucky also feels a lot like home, so it wasn’t hard picking this school. The history that Kentucky has had with guards is just amazing.”

Wallace, a combo guard, averaged 15.2 points and 6.9 rebounds in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League. He chose Kentucky because, “Coach Cal has shown the ability to get players like me to where I want to go with hard work. I understand that it will be hard and I wanted to bet on myself.“

“Cason is a winner and a competitor who reminds me of Eric Bledsoe and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander,” Calipari said. “I don’t like to make a lot of comparisons like that, but he has a quiet demeanor with a game that speaks loudly. He can shoot it and create for his teammates, but what really separates him is his defense. He is already an elite on-ball defender who takes a lot of pride in that part of the game.”

Keith Taylor is the sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at Keith.taylor@kentuckytoday.com or via Twitter at keithtaylor21