September 12, 2013

Our Favorite Charity Weekend of the Year – The John Calipari Fantasy Experience

BACKGROUND

This past weekend was one of our favorite weekends of the year – we joined Coach Calipari and the University of Kentucky Basketball staff to help raise more than $1M for charity. Each year, Coach Cal holds his Fantasy Camp in Lexington, KY, which brings together men ages 35 and over that want to live the fantasy of playing for UK. For three days, these “old men” get to live the life of Nerlens Noel, as they run drills, study film, and huff and puff down the court, all for the chance to play a championship game at Rupp Arena.

Krossover’s job at the camp of course is to get all the games recorded, uploaded, broken down overnight, and available to the coaches to have a film session with their Fantasy team the next day. Here’s how it all went down:

DAY 1

Our CEO, Vasu Kulkarni (who has been trying unsuccessfully to get into the camp for two years, since he has eight years to go to reach the minimum age) and our Director of Operations, Amyn Bandali set out from NYC to LEX. Amyn has been growing the ugliest mustache and it had him pretty worn out.

Ladies and gentlemen, the man responsible for making sure your games get broken down.

Once we got to Lexington, it was pretty much time for the draft, where each of the six teams gets to draft eight of the players. Coach Cal adds his own analysis of the players so that the coaches can choose wisely. DeMarcus Cousins and Jay Bilas were in the room hanging out and helping as well.

DeMarcus Cousins was looking real fashionable at the draft.

After the draft, it was time to start playing the first round of games. That night, we all got to go to the WinStar Farms to have dinner and listen to the coaches discuss their teams’ performances on day one.

DAY 2

An early start for the teams as they had to get into the film room and watch the Krossover breakdown of their opponent scout film. Coach Dino Gaudio’s film session was by far the best – he was jumping around all animated, yelling at his guys, and trying to rally the troops after a tough first round loss.

The campers were in awe of what Krossover was able to do.

More games that afternoon, and dinner at Coach Cal’s house, where another $250K was raised as part of a charity auction. After Cal’s house, we all ended up in the hotel bar where Jay Bilas and Seth Greenberg went head to head in the Krossover sIQ challenge. The questions were all Duke footage based, so Bilas had the obvious advantage. According to Twitter though, Greenberg felt the odds were just too far stacked in Bilas’ favor.

The Bilastrator answers a question as Seth Greenberg looks on.

Twitter was buzzing with the Bilas vs. Greenberg matchup.

DAY 3

Today was the big deal – the morning started bright and early with Vasu and Amyn being the first ones at Rupp Arena to get a workout in before all the campers arrived.

Once we were done with our work out, we got to take a tour of the newly renovated Rupp Arena, and it is unreal. There’s just no way any recruit would not sign on the spot!

Where do I sign, Coach?

Jason Taylor, the Hall of Fame football player was on one of the teams, but alas, they got knocked out early. But not before they got to play a great game at Rupp Arena.

It’s still a team game – having a pro player doesn’t win a championship at Rupp!

When the final buzzer sounded, Team Kentucky had won it all. It was a great end to fantastic event, but the night wasn’t over yet. The 2012 UK team was about to play an exhibition game against the 2010 UK team, and we were court side to watch it. There are no fans like Kentucky fans. Go Big Blue!

A sell out crowd for an exhibition? UK Fans are unbelievable. #BBN

We’re betting on Coach Cal to raise another Championship banner this season with Krossover by his side. We will be in Chicago at the State Farm Champions Classic to watch UK take on Michigan State in November and then at the Final Four in Arlington. Let us know if you are in the area and want to meet up.