ESPN’s “All-Access Kentucky,” Featuring SLAM, Begins Tomorrow

by October 16, 2012

We’d heard vague details about the new ESPN series, All-Access Kentucky, and it sounded promising. Now that we just received a press release on the series and the heads up that SLAM has a lovely guest spot in Episode 1, we’re legitimately excited. See airing details below, courtesy of ESPN Films:

ESPN will premiere a new sports series this fall focusing on the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team. All-Access Kentucky debuts this month and will follow Coach John Calipari as he guides the new faces of the defending national champion Wildcats from Big Blue Madness through its biggest early season tests of 2012. The multi-part series will consist of 30-minute weekly shows airing on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. ET with the first three episodes scheduled for October 17, 24 and 31.

All-Access Kentucky will provide a never-before-seen perspective of the Wildcats preparation for the basketball season.  The episodes will chronicle Calipari teaching six new players the Kentucky system and trying to mold high school superstars into instant national champions, all while recruiting the class of 2014.  The cinéma vérité series will showcase what life can be like on a top-level collegiate basketball team, providing a unique window into the first step in building a national champion.

“Our mission at ESPN is always to serve sports fans and with many new players on the Wildcats this year, there is enormous interest surrounding this team,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN’s executive vice president of programming and acquisitions.  “All-Access Kentucky gives us an opportunity to deliver something entertaining and unique that helps bring fans closer to a sport they love.”

The series will be a trip inside the lives of Coach Calipari and the players, the fight for playing time, what happens in the weight room, the inside jokes and pranks.All-Access Kentucky will highlight Calipari’s seemingly unrivaled ability to land top players and quickly build them into a cohesive team, as he tries to repeat as national champion with four freshman and no starters from the previous season.

ESPN will also produce original segments and highlights from the series to air across SportsCenter and other ESPN platforms including and SportsNation.

“College basketball fans are among the most passionate and dedicated sports fans in the country and they have a strong desire to connect with their team and feel a part of the action,” said Jamie Horowitz, ESPN’s vice president of original programming and production. “All-Access Kentucky will bring people behind the scenes of Calipari’s program to capture both the joys and the challenges of creating and leading an elite college basketball team.”