Now, Michael McGuire -- who still had soot on his face after a long shift in the mines when he sat down at the Blue-White scrimmage in Pikeville, Kentucky, in October -- and his family will get the VIP treatment from Calipari and the school.
On Friday, the 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 postgame radio show following Monday's 95-63 win over the Howard Bison, Calipari said he expects loud applause when the McGuire family is announced at the game.
My family's American dream started in a Clarksburg, WV coal mine, so this picture hits home.— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) October 24, 2022
From what I've been told, after his shift, he raced to be with his son & watch our team. Don't know who this is, but I have tickets for him & his family at Rupp to be treated as VIPs!! pic.twitter.com/a5BJXUnK2v
Mollie McGuire, Michael's wife, said the family is grateful for the opportunity.
"It's so kind and generous," she told ESPN on Tuesday. "We are so thankful."
Mollie said 14 members of the McGuire family -- 10 adults and four children -- will hop on the bus on Friday and enjoy the trip to Rupp Arena.
Per the school, Michael picked Friday's game because he wanted to bring members of his extended family, too.
Michael and his family made national headlines after Calipari tweeted a photo of the coal miner, who had rushed to the intrasquad scrimmage that also raised money for victims of the devastating flooding in the eastern part of the state in July and August. In all, at least 43 people in Kentucky died because of the floods.
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 the family -- Michael and Mollie also have a 1-year-old daughter -- and then promised to bring them all to a game in the future.