Before John Wall was a superstar in the NBA for the Washington Wizards, he was the best player in the country for the Kentucky Wildcats. Wall only played one season (2009-10) for Kentucky, but it was a special one. The then-freshman point guard led Kentucky to the Elite Eight and won the Adolph Rupp Trophy awarded to the best player in the nation.

On Friday night, Wall was inducted into the University of Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame, and got very emotional during his speech when thanking his mom.

You may want some kleenex handy for this one:

“I just want to thank you. I just wanted to say thank you for being my mom. I know it was tough growing up with me and my two sisters, seeing my dad go to jail at a young age, and you sacrificing everything.

“You always told me when I was 16, you said you knew I was a hardheaded kid. I know you used to hate when I was in kindergarten. You had to sit in the parking lot a lot of times because I could never stay in school more than 30 minutes. I was always getting kicked out, and she had to drive 45 minutes to take me to school. Then all of a sudden I started playing AAU basketball and I met one of my close friends EJ, we call him Grizzly, and she would miss a lot of tournaments, but she would sacrifice sometimes not paying the light bill just so I could go play basketball.

“Then when I was 16 years old, I kept getting in trouble. She took basketball away from me. She said either you can go down the same road as your dad and brothers, or you can be somebody very special and change our family’s lives.”


About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

He can be followed on Twitter at @Matt2Clapp (also @TheBlogfines for Cubs/MLB tweets and @DaBearNecess for Bears/NFL tweets), and can be reached by email at