Gonzaga Bulldogs’ Corey Kispert Reveals How Virginia Cavaliers’ Tony Bennett Motivated Him to ‘Kick Their A**’

Published 04/22/2021, 10:30 AM EDT
Mar 22, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Corey Kispert (24) reacts after making a three point basket against the Oklahoma Sooners during the first half in the second round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports


In 2017, the Gonzaga Bulldogs signed a hidden gem in Corey Kispert. He was hardly the most sought after player, and they didn’t have much competition to sign him. Four years later, he leaves for the NBA as one of the best players to play for them.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

During his recruiting, the Virginia Cavaliers were also interested in bringing him over. But they only had one scholarship to offer, and coach Tony Bennett didn’t want to offer it to Kispert before seeing him play against top opposition. So they were holding out. But then two weeks later, Kispert signed with Gonzaga.

There are no exact details of how it went, but Kispert recently revealed some details. In a recent podcast with former Gonzaga star Adam Morrison, Kispert revealed that Bennett told him he wasn’t good enough. So he never forgot that and that is what inspired him to have his career high performance again the Cavaliers.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

He dropped 32 points on Virgina in December 2020, while shooting an excellent 9-13 from three. That helped the Bulldogs thrash the Cavaliers by 23 points.

While this is how Kispert believes the events transpired, according to former Virginia star Kyle Guy, there was no chance of this happening. He replied to the tweet with Kispert’s video and called him out.

So is Gonzaga Bulldogs’ Corey Kispert speaking the truth?

This could be similar to how Michael Jordan used to ‘take it personally’ as seen in The Last Dance docuseries. As many would term it ‘persecution complex’ Kispert may have exaggerated Bennett’s response and used it as fodder to motivate himself.

Guy, who currently plays for the Sacramento Kings, further explained how the conversation might have occurred. He first clarified that coach wouldn’t offer anyone who he doesn’t think can play. He then added Bennett would have simply told Kispert about the struggle for minutes, especially in his first season. They already had multiple prospects signed and also multiple upper classmen.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Bennett’s decision paid off for the Cavaliers, who won the NCAA tournament just a year later. So he knew what he was doing.

It worked out for Kispert too, who had a successful time with the Zags. Despite entering the NBA Draft as a senior, he still has a lot of interest, which is rare for someone his age. With some improvements in his game, Kispert can be a solid piece to wherever he lands. He will be one to look out for.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Apr 5, 2021; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Corey Kispert (24) dribbles the ball past Baylor Bears guard Jared Butler (12) in the first half during the national championship game in the Final Four of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Aaron Mathew

1522 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT