BENTON, Ky. — Bol Bol couldn’t clear up a lingering mystery from the class of 2018 basketball recruiting cycle.
Why didn’t Kentucky coach John Calipari include Bol, the 7-foot-3, five-star center, on his U-19 U.S. World Cup team?
“I still wonder why he cut me, but I’ll never know,” Bol said.
Bol was among 18 finalists in June at the Team USA training camp in Colorado Springs, but he was not given one of the final 12 roster spots on the squad that eventually won the bronze medal in Cairo.
Calipari and members of the USA Basketball committee announced the decision after three days of practices, which featured mostly 5-on-5 scrimmages.
At the time, Kentucky was considered the favorite to secure Bol’s services as a college player. He signed with Oregon last month.
Bol said Thursday at the Marshall County Hoop Fest he didn’t know why he didn’t make the team, which featured 2018 recruits Immanuel Quickley, Romeo Langford, Cameron Reddish and Louis King.
“I wasn’t really mad about it,” Bol said. “Everyone thinks I’m mad about it, but I wasn’t.”
That’s because Bol, who signed to play for Oregon last month, didn’t ask Calipari in June for an explanation.
“I could have stayed to ask, but at that point I was like, ‘it’s not going to change,'” he said. “So I just left.”
And then the subject never came up, according to Bol, when Bol officially visited Kentucky for Big Blue Madness in September.
“I feel like (Calipari) kind of avoided that whole situation, but I just forgot about it,” Bol said.
Bol, the No. 3 overall senior in the country, grew up a Kentucky fan and for some time earlier this year appeared on track to play for Calipari and the Wildcats.
“I know what’s best for me, and I picked the right decision,” Bol said. “It was my favorite school growing up, but I grew up.
“I just felt like (Oregon) fit me more, the style of play and all that.”