Basketball Coach Sees Familiar Sight Of Coal Miner And Son In Stands, Makes Public VIP Offer
Head coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats coaches from the sideline against the St. Peter's Peacocks in the first round of the 2022 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament held at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on March 17, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana
Photo by Jamie Sabau/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

University of Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari spotted a familiar sight at a recent game when he saw a coal miner and his son in the stands and made a public VIP offer to them.

The Wildcats head coach of men’s basketball took to Twitter to share a photo of the young boy and a man covered in coal, which he said struck a chord with him harkening back to his family roots.

“My family’s American dream started in a Clarksburg, WV coal mine, so this picture hits home,” Calipari tweeted to his 1.5 million followers Monday.

“From what I’ve been told, after his shift, he raced to be with his son & watch our team,” he added. “Don’t know who this is, but I have tickets for him & his family at Rupp to be treated as VIPs!!”

The Kentucky coach later shared that the family has been located as he thanked everyone for their “incredible response to this. No one rallies like the #BBN!”

“We are looking forward to hosting [mcguire_mollie9], her husband Michael and their family at a game soon!!” the coach tweeted.

“I’ve thought a lot today about my grandfather, who worked underground in the mine,” Calipari added in a follow-up tweet. “I’ve also had the privilege to go underground with miners in KY and a comment stuck out to me: ‘We go down together and we come up together.’”

“They work for each other,” he added. “The ultimate teammates!!”

It is unclear exactly which game the photo came from, but it seems safe to assume it’s from the Blue-White Game on Saturday, October 22, at the Appalachian Wireless Arena in Pikeville, Kentucky. It was an intrasquad game where the White eked out a win against the Blue 70-67.

The proceeds from the game went toward fundraising efforts for Eastern Kentucky flood relief, as noted by

In an earlier post, the coach made it clear he loves his job and is grateful for the fans who helped raise money for flood relief.

“Work up very grateful this morning,” Calipari tweeted. “Grateful for this team. Grateful for everyone I got to meet at the park yesterday who haven’t lost their spark or hope.”

“Grateful to the city of Pikeville,” he added. “Grateful to our fans who raised $160k for flood relief. Grateful to be YOUR coach!!”

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