A coal miner rushing straight after work to take his young son to a college basketball game could be deserving of the title of “the most loving father in America” after a photo of him and his boy moved University of Kentucky coach John Calipari.
A seemingly touched Calipari posted the father and son photo on Twitter, seeking to give the family VIP tickets, and bringing the story to national attention, Breitbart News reported.
The photo was taken on Saturday in Pikeville, Kentucky, where the Wildcats went to play their annual charity Blue-White game to raise relief money for the region.
In June of this year, Eastern Kentucky suffered deadly floods that caused massive devastation and the deaths of 37 people, including four children.
The photo, which went viral on social media, showed a young boy and his father during the charity game, with the father’s face still covered with black coal dust and wearing his safety-striped work gear.
The father didn’t have time to clean up and change when he wanted his son to the basketball game on time.
University of Kentucky coach John Calipari explained on Twitter how touched he was by the coal miner and his son’s photo. Besides the moving nature of the moment, the image also reminded him of the coal mining tradition in the area.
“My family’s American dream started in a Clarksburg, WV coal mine, so this picture hits home,” Calipari wrote on Twitter before telling the father and son’s story.
“From what I’ve been told, after his shift, he raced to be with his son & watch our team. I don’t know who this is, but I have tickets for him & his family at Rupp to be treated as VIPs!!
The University of Kentucky coach said the photo reminded him of his grandfather.
“I’ve thought a lot today about my grandfather, who worked underground in the mine. 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,” Calipari wrote.
“They work for each other. The ultimate teammates!!” he added.
The coal miner’s wife later responded to Calipari’s tweet, informing the Wildcats coach the two boys in the photo are her son Easton and her husband, Michael Joe McGuire.
The Kentucky Sports Radio has confirmed that Calipari made good on his promise and got in touch with the McGuire family.
He presented them with VIP tickets for Wildcats’ games, whose season starts in ten days with home games against Howard and Duquesne.
University of Kentucky coach John Calipari was so touched by the coal miner who rushed to the arena to be with his young son to see the Wildcats play that he offered the father-son pair VIP tickets. https://t.co/Kg9MAmCWvY
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) October 26, 2022