Kentucky coal miner goes viral over picture of him at son’s basketball game – The Guardian US

Pictures of a Kentucky coal miner and his family went viral after a widely shared picture showed him rushing straight from a shift in the mine to take his young son to the university’s basketball game – not to miss the boy’s first live basketball experience.

Michael McGuire rushed after work to watch a University of Kentucky game with his young son in Pikeville, in the eastern part of the state.

Still dressed in his work uniform and covered in coal dust, McGuire’s determination to spend quality time with his son caught a lot of attention. A Kentucky fan took a picture of McGuire and his son and posted the picture to a Facebook fan page, CNN reported.

Soon, the couple’s picture was noticed by University of Kentucky coach John Calipari, who himself shared the viral moment and offered the McGuire family VIP tickets to a University of Kentucky game.

“My family’s American dream began in a coal mine in Clarksburg, West Virginia, so this image hits home. From what I said, after his shift, he raced to be with his son and watch our team. Don’t know who this is, but I have tickets for him and his family at Rupp’s to be treated like royalty!!” Calipari posted on Twitter, referring to the Rupp Arena where University of Kentucky home games are held.

My family’s American dream began in a Clarksburg, WV coal mine, so this image hits home.

From what I said, after his shift, he raced to be with his son and watch our team. Don’t know who this is but I have tickets for him and his family at Rupp to be treated like VIP!! pic.twitter.com/a5BJXUnK2v

– John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) October 24, 2022

While fans connected the McGuire family to Calipari through McGuire’s wife Mollie, McGuire later told CNN affiliate WKYT that he didn’t initially hear about the viral moment because he was working underground.

“When I got out and got service on the way home, it went crazy…I couldn’t believe it was real,” McGuire told WKYT.

McGuire added that he decided to rush to the game as going home to freshen up after work would have meant missing much of the match.

McGuire and Calipari have since been linked, with Calipari later telling reporters that local businesses and hotels have been eager to treat the family when they come to Lexington for their VIP game experience, CBS News reported.

“Isn’t it good for somebody like that who’s a quiet, humble guy to know that people appreciate you, and we appreciate what you stand for,” Calipari told reporters on Tuesday. “And I appreciate it, because that’s how my family started in this country.”

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