Photo of Kentucky coal miner sitting with son at UK basketball game goes viral


Kentucky head men’s basketball coach John Calipari got his wish to do something special for a certain family that attended his team’s Blue and White scrimmage over the weekend. 

Calipari posted a photo to Twitter of a coal miner and his son watching the Blue-White scrimmage in Pikeville, which raised money for those affected by flooding in Eastern Kentucky in August. 

Michael McGuire didn’t want to miss his 3-year-old son, Easton’s, first live basketball game, ESPN says. He rushed after his shift in his work boots and uniform to Appalachian Wireless Arena to watch the game with his son despite the hard work still showing on his body. 

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John Calipari speaks on stage as part of the Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony on Sept. 9, 2022, at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut.
(Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

Having that photo hit home for Calipari, who wanted to give the McGuire family “VIP” treatment at a game at Rupp Arena this season. 

Calipari was able to speak with McGuire’s wife, Mollie, who learned of Calipari’s generous offer. 

“I was shocked,” Mollie McGuire told ESPN about the call she got from Calipari. 

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“My family’s American dream started in a Clarksburg, WV coal mine, so this picture hits home,” Calipari wrote in his viral tweet. 

Following their call, Calipari let the Kentucky faithful know that he was able to get in contact with the family. 

“Thank you everyone for your incredible response to this,” he wrote. “No one rallies like the #BBN!

Head coach John Calipari reacts to a call as his Kentucky Wildcats take on Saint Peter's Peacocks during the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament on March 17, 2022, in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Head coach John Calipari reacts to a call as his Kentucky Wildcats take on Saint Peter’s Peacocks during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament on March 17, 2022, in Indianapolis, Indiana.
(Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

“We are looking forward to hosting @mcguire_mollie9, her husband Michael and their family at a game soon!!”

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Though not affected by the flooding in Kentucky, the McGuire family, like Calipari, wanted to help the community as much as they could. ESPN added that they gave family and friends bags of clothing they could pack up to help. 

The McGuire family is expected to see a very good Wildcats squad this season, as they are currently ranked No. 4 in the country, per the AP Top 25 pool. 

Coal miner Michael McGuire sits with his son, Easton, to watch the Wildcats' Blue-White scrimmage in Pikeville, Kentucky.

Coal miner Michael McGuire sits with his son, Easton, to watch the Wildcats’ Blue-White scrimmage in Pikeville, Kentucky.
(Mollie McGuire)

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Only North Carolina (No. 1), Gonzaga (No. 2) and Houston (No. 3) are above them for the time being. 



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