LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Louisville Cardinal sophomore JJ Traynor said he had his doubt about returning to UofL next season following a year that saw him play in just ten games.

The forward from Bardstown said there was one factor in his decision to return.

“Having Kenny Payne, honestly,” Traynor said. “Him being there and I’ve known him for awhile...having that relationship. Talking to him, he really motivated me and told me what was going on. I just couldn’t say no. I had to come back.”

Sydney Curry said he had a feeling he would return to UofL because of what he said was a “sour feeling” following the Cardinals season ending loss to Virginia in the ACC Tournament, a loss that capped a rough 13-19 season. Curry said the hiring of Payne as the new head coach solidified his decision.

“He coached a lot of great players. Just talking with him for two hours, talking about how to develop my game, what he sees for the team and just everything in general as a coach, I fell right in line with the things he wanted to do,” Curry said.

Both Curry and Traynor have teamed up to host youth basketball camps this summer. They made those comments at this weekend’s two-day camp at The Institute in Jeffersontown. With name, image and likeness rules now in place, the two current Cardinals are allowed to make money hosting camps.

“I feel like it’s a win-win situation,” Curry said when asked about players being able to make money helping kids learn the game. “The NIL definitely opened up a lot of good things in the world. I feel like having NIL is a good thing, having your own camp, selling your own merchandise, having a new business deal…I think NIL is a good thing for people who take advantage of it.”

Traynor agrees.

“It’s refreshing. I feel like we can do our own thing. Go and make money on own and work with people," he said. "Kind of makes us grow up in a way. So I like it.”

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