Cal moved by photo of miner and son – The Advocate-Messenger


Cal moved by the photo of the miner and his son

Posted 7:32 a.m. on Saturday, October 29, 2022


kentucky today

John Calipari spoke about basketball during Media Day Tuesday at the Memorial Coliseum, but the main topic wasn’t the Wildcats.

The Kentucky coach was touched by a photo of an Eastern Kentucky coal miner and his son taken at the Appalachian Wireless Arena in Pikeville last Saturday during the blue-white scrimmage. In the now-viral photo, Michael McGuire is pictured with soot on his face and wearing a miner’s uniform with his 3-year-old son, Easton, by his side.

Calipari said the photo “came home as soon as I saw it.”

“It hit me between the eyes when I saw it,” he said. “I must have found out later (who sent him the photo), because I went to the cafe. Which of you sent this to me? He ended up being Marc Hill. I don’t know where he found it or where he saw it.

Calipari was moved by McGuire’s desire to attend a scrum to be with his son after his shift at a coal mine.

“He wanted to be there so badly that he was ready to go without showering, without changing, just getting in his car and leaving because he got out of the mine late,” the Kentucky coach said. “It wasn’t about that. It was that he wanted to be there with his son. That’s why he did it.

Calipari called and offered McGuire, his wife Mollie and their son and daughter tickets and VIP treatment to an upcoming game at Rupp Arena. Mollie McGuire was surprised that Calipari took the time to make this generous offer.

“’My husband is humble. He works hard. It’s hard work, but he makes enough money that I don’t have to work. And he’s a great dad. He did it several times. She said, ‘Do you know his beard is red?’ And I said ‘What do you mean?’ She said, “It was coal dust in his beard.

“So I said, ‘Well, what did he say?’

She said ‘He hadn’t heard yet.’


“He’s still underground.”


Calipari then joined McGuire and told him the news.

“(He said), ‘They called me at the office. First I thought I did something and I walk out, they cheer me on. What are you doing ? »

Calipari added that “bringing light” to “a good man, a hardworking Kentuckian and a coal miner who does everything he can to save time for his family, his son and his daughter” makes his job interesting and rewarding.

“That’s the story,” he said.

Calipari passed on the ‘big lesson’ of history to his team, which is about responsibility on and off the pitch. He showed them the photo of the miner and his son and told them to do “backbreaking work, it’s honorable work, but it takes time for his son, even though he knows he doesn’t can’t shower. It didn’t matter what he looked like, he just wanted to be with his son.

“It’s life or death,” he said. “If you don’t make your weight, someone is going to say something. If you’re not ready for it, one of the other miners will say something. This is when a team is empowered.


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