When someone of Jim Calhoun’s stature—you know, 26 years on the job, three National Championships, 30-plus NBA draft picks—decides to retire, there will inevitably be a period of shock and disbelief that follows. For former UCONN hero and current Charlotte Bobcats point guard Kemba Walker, who has repeatedly referred to Calhoun as a ‘father figure’, the news hit hard. Via CollegeSpun.com: “UConn legend and current Charlotte Bobcats guard Kemba Walker was one of several former players in attendance on Thursday. The point guard from the Bronx, who became a legend with his performance in 2011, was surprised by the news. ‘I was up here yesterday and he told me before anybody else. I was kind of shocked,’ Walker said. ‘Me personally, I’ve always loved Coach. He was always so good to me.’ He’s happy that Ollie is the man replacing Calhoun, saying that he is very excited for him and that even though it’ll be tough, he can handle it. ‘KO’s been through it all,’ he said. ‘He’s one of the people that you would love to get advice from. Whatever KO told me, I made sure I was a sponge and I soaked it all in.’ Walker called junior guard Shabazz Napier and sophomore guard Ryan Boatright the leaders of the team and says that both players will be great.”
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