Kentucky's Secret Weapon

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Orlando's Magic

Photograph By Chip Litherland for ESPN The Magazine

Orlando Antigua is all smiles now, but his journey to Kentucky was marked by strife. By age 18, he'd survived homelessness and being shot in the head -- which gives him a compelling recruiting pitch. "Look, I wore those shoes," Antigua tells future Kentucky stars, "and if you do this and have this kind of mindset and surround yourself with people who are going to help you, you're going to become successful."