The Curious Case of William Wesley

worldwideSurely by now, just about every Kentucky fan on the planet has heard of Worldwide Wes: He’s that mysterious figure lurking in the background of Calipari’s recruiting success, the one that so many people have so many negative things to say about.  Given, no one has been able to wave any specific red flags, but there seems to be a universal agreement that William Wesley is a guy that has a borderline illegal influence on where the kids he befriends attend college.

I’m not trying to sway your opinion on Wesley one way or the other; however, I do think that every Kentucky fan (and therefore by default, John Calipari supporters) should make themselves read this GQ profile of Worldwide Wes from 2007.  It paints the picture of a hypomanic young shoe salesman who used his natural charisma and ambition to meet professional basketball players, become a VIP, and subsequently take over the basketball world, team-by-team, level-by-level.

Keep in mind, this article was written shortly after Derrick Rose had given his commitment to Memphis, and long before Tyreke Evans would ever give his verbal to Cal and the Tigers.


“This afternoon’s main attraction is one Derrick Rose, a six-foot-three-inch blisteringly fast point guard from Chicago’s Simeon Career Academy. Journalists and insiders who have followed Rose’s career also noted Wes’s presence on the sideline of Derrick’s AAU games last summer. Rose’s college choices came down to Memphis, Illinois, and Indiana. One journalist told me, ‘When I saw the list, I knew Derrick was going to Memphis.’ The prediction was correct.”

And, at least to me, most interestingly:

“Tyreke dominates the second half of the game, finishing with thirty-three points and six assists. It’s a good day for Wes’s nephews, and there are better days to come. Chances are good that a year from now, after one season at Memphis, Derrick Rose will be an NBA lottery pick. And a year after that, Tyreke Evans will follow suit. For now, though, Tyreke stands at center court, gripping his MVP plaque, trying not to blink at the flashbulbs. Wes stands five feet out on the court in a circle of people. A few feet away, Reggie Evans stands on the Garden floor, too, with his hands in his pockets, taking in the moment. Wes drapes an arm over Reggie’s shoulder and pulls him closer. I think I can read Wes’s lips: ‘Come here. There’s somebody I want you to meet.’”

The New York Times has also spent a little time researching Wes, as well as Wes and Cal’s relationship, specifically—in which, it is revealed that Calipari was introduced to the idea of expanding his brand to China by Wesley.

Very interesting stuff.  That’s all I’m saying.

GQ: Is This the Most Powerful Man in Sports?

NY Times: A Confidant to the Big and the Small, Woven Into All Levels

NY Times: Memphis and Calipari Go to Hoop in China


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