John Calipari said he’s excited for Zvonimir Ivisic to join Kentucky now that the Croatian star has cleared his eligibility hurdles and been accepted into the school, the Wildcats coach wrote on X on Thursday.
Jay Blanton, a school spokesperson, confirmed to ESPN that Ivisic is enrolled at Kentucky.
“I can’t tell you how happy I am with how this all turned out,” Calipari wrote Thursday. “The work was done by [Ivisic] and his family. For him to be persistent and keep fighting was so impressive and it showed how badly he wanted to be a part of our team! He overcame all obstacles and just wouldn’t be deterred.”
Ivisic, a 7-foot-2 center who starred for Croatia during the Under-20 FIBA World Championships in Greece in July, joins a Kentucky team that will chase its first Final Four appearance since 2015.
The university had been quiet about Ivisic, who played professional basketball in Europe, after he committed to the program in August. His shot-blocking and size should help a team that lost former Wooden Award winner Oscar Tshiebwe to the NBA.
“When we started recruiting [Ivisic], my mind started moving to how we can help our university become even more prominent worldwide,” Calipari wrote. “This basketball program is a global brand and now we can continue to open new avenues for students to come to the University of Kentucky.”
With top prospects D.J. Wagner and Justin Edwards, along with the return of veteran Antonio Reeves, Kentucky is expected to contend for the SEC title, which the program hasn’t won since the 2019-2020 season, following a string of rocky years under Calipari.