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Coach John Calipari highlights fatherhood and the dignity of work



Cerith Gardiner - published on 10/28/22

The popular University of Kentucky coach was moved by a striking image at one of his team's recent games.

Sport has the ability not only to keep us fit, but also to shine a light on some very important issues in life. Just recently, the head coach of the University of Kentucky, John Calipari, pointed this out.

The coach spotted a photo that was taken at a basketball game in Pikeville, Kentucky. In the picture, a dad had just arrived at the game to watch it with his young son. But what caught Calipari’s attention was the fact that dad had come straight from work, still in his work clothes and looking worn out after a long shift.

While the dad possibly just wanted to go home and get cleaned up, he prioritized his young son, and gave him the most precious of gifts: his time.

As Calipari highlighted, the picture was particularly moving to him considering his own family came from coal mining. So, being able to understand just how arduous this sort of work is, the coach wanted to invite the stranger and his family as VIPs to a game.

Luckily, the man was identified as Micheal McGuire, and his wife Mollie shared with Kyle Tucker of The Athletic: “It’s nothing for us to go out to eat or him to come to our son’s tee-ball games or family events covered in coal dust.”

And Calipari proved to be a man of his word. With McGuire identified, the coach called and spoke to him and “told them to pick a home game and they’ll be his guests for a dinner, pregame shootaround, meet-and-greet with his players and courtside seats at Rupp Arena,” according to The Athletic.

Mollie also spoke of how the coach took the time to talk about his own family connections to the coal mining industry, and how it was particularly meaningful to him.

It is heartwarming that in just one photo we can see how fatherhood and a good honest profession is at the heart of sports.

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