Last month, Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari promised to send tickets to the family of a miner whose photo went viral after he showed up to an exhibition game in work clothes.
Now Michael McGuire, who still had soot on his face from a long shift in the mines when he boarded a blue-and-white game in Pikeville, Kentucky, in October, and his family will receive VIP treatment from Calipari and the school.
On Friday, an official team bus will take Michael and his family to Kentucky’s home game against the Duquesne Dukes at Rupp Arena, the Wildcats’ home arena in Lexington. On his post-game radio show after Monday’s 95-63 victory over Howard Bison, Calipari said he expects a big round of applause when the McGuire family is announced at the game.
My family’s American dream began in a coal mine in Clarksburg, West Virginia, so this photo hit the spot.
As far as I know, after his shift, he rushed off to be with his son and oversee our team. I don’t know who it is, but I have tickets for him and his family at Rupp to treat them like VIPs!! pic.twitter.com/a5BJXUnK2v
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) October 24, 2022
Molly McGuire, Michael’s wife, said the family is grateful for the opportunity.
“It’s so sweet and generous,” she told Sportzshala on Tuesday. “We are so grateful.”
Molly said the 14 members of the McGuire family – 10 adults and four children – will board the bus on Friday and enjoy a trip to the Rupp Arena.
According to the school, Michael chose Friday’s game because he wanted to bring his extended family with him.
Michael and his family made national headlines after Calipari tweeted a photo of a miner who threw himself into an intra-team brawl that also raised money for victims of devastating flooding in the eastern part of the state in July and August. In total, at least 43 people died in Kentucky as a result of the flood.
Michael immediately left work that day and drove to the game because it was his 3-year-old son Easton’s first live basketball game and he wanted to be there with him and his wife. Calipari used Twitter to find a family – Michael and Molly also have a one-year-old daughter – and then promised to bring them all into the game in the future.