When Andre Drummond first expressed interest in playing for UConn, Huskies head coach Jim Calhoun’s ear pricked up.
There was only one problem, they didn’t have any scholarships left.
“I’m like, ‘okay, well I’m gonna hang up now’,” Drummond said of the exchange in an interview with Varsity House Podcast. “He said ‘wait, maybe you could pay for school. We know you’re not gonna do four years of college here’.”
According to Drummond, Calhoun also said he would be willing to strip another player of their scholarship in order to give it to him.
“I didn’t know who he was until I got there, but DeAndre Daniels was the player they were talking about. I was like, ‘that’s not right, I don’t wanna do that. So I was like, ‘nah I don’t want it, let him keep it’.
“I’ll just pay for school and figure it out from there. So yeah, I paid for school. Somebody just talked about I’m the best walk-on in NCAA history (laughs).”
So not only did UConn get Drummond for his one-and-done season, but they also avoided damaging their relationship with DeAndre Daniels, who was the second-leading scorer on UConn’s 2014 national championship winning team.