Covered in soot, Kentucky coal miner Micheal McGuire rushed to Pikeville over the weekend to watch a Wildcats basketball game with his young son and wife. The man’s appearance caught a lot of attention — including the gaze of University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari.
Calipari was so moved by McGuire’s commitment to his wife and son — and the UK basketball team — that he posted about the coal miner’s presence at the game, and even offered the VIP treatment to the family.
The coach said he would provide free tickets to the miner and his family for a future home game at Rupp Arena in Lexington, according to WKYT-TV.
It was social media users and UK fans who helped Calipari identify the coal miner as McGuire, who told the local news outlet he had to make a choice on game day.
“It was either go straight [to the game],” he said, “or miss half the game to go home and take a shower and everything.”
When the UK coach shared the photo to his social media accounts Monday, McGuire was back at work underground. It wasn’t until hours later he saw Calipari’s kind-hearted gesture.
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“When I got out and got service on my way home, it went crazy,” McGuire said. “I couldn’t believe that it was real.” The hardworking dad added, “It’s mind-blowing that everybody came together like that.”
McGuire’s wife, Mollie, wrote about her “amazing” husband in a Facebook post of her own.
“He is an employee of Excel Mining (Alliance Coal) and works hard to provide for our family,” she wrote. “It doesn’t matter to him how long he has worked or how hard his day is, he is always there and shows up for our babies! He is the most selfless man ever and always puts his family first! Our babies absolutely adore him and Easton, our son, tells people he is a coal miner like his daddy.”
“We are beyond blessed and thankful!” she added.
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