Lost in the post-South Carolina talk yesterday was a great piece from Gregg Doyel on the amazing generosity shown by UK fans in the Hoops for Haiti telethon and work. We have loved Gregg around here for a long time and he has become a good friend of mine, but beyond that, no one understands the UK fanbase better. His article linked here, says that UK fans should be praised for their generosity and their amazing williness to help others. A few excerpts:
And the biggest winner all week was Kentucky, which raised more than $1 million for Haiti. It’s $1 million and counting, by the way. Kentucky isn’t finished raising money for Haiti in the wake of a devastating earthquake. Put that number in perspective. The American Red Cross, the gold standard in this country when it comes to helping others in their time of need, was among the first international groups to pledge money for Haiti. And how much did the Red Cross pledge? Exactly $1 million. Kentucky basketball tried to send more money to Haiti than the American Red Cross.
Another great section:
So while I’m applauding Kentucky basketball, I’m also going to applaud Kentucky basketball fans. It’s too simplistic to say Kentucky basketball has raised more than $1 million (and counting) for Haiti without saying who wrote most of the checks: Kentucky basketball fans. This $1 million wasn’t a money order from the Kentucky athletic department to Haiti. This was a whole lot of $5, $10 and $25 donations from the good people of Kentucky, a state that has been hit as hard as any by our country’s economic struggles.
I’m not here to tell you the people of Kentucky have it worse than other people in other states. I’m just here to tell you that the people of Kentucky dug deep last week for almost $1 million for Haiti, which makes this a story that crosses basketball and even racial lines. According to the U.S. census, the state of Kentucky is about 7.7 percent black. Almost 95 percent of Haitians are descendants from Africa. What does the typical Kentuckian have in common with the typical Haitian? Very, very little. But they gave, did those people in Kentucky.
They gave more than China, which pledged $1 million for Haiti. They gave half as much as Germany, which pledged $2.17 million. Britain sent $10 million. Japan sent $5 million.
And the finish:
An earthquake devastated Haiti on Jan. 12, and within five days Calipari had used the power and the passion of Kentucky basketball to raise more than $1 million for victims, with more on the way as Calipari is auctioning off a dinner with himself and Ashley Judd to the highest bidder. President Obama felt the need to call Calipari and thank him, and Kentucky basketball fans, for their help. Maybe you can tell, but I still can’t believe this story. The Kentucky basketball community gave $1 million! That’s as much as all of India. It’s more than Sweden ($850,000). Nothing against those countries, either. Good for them. Every bit helps. Kentucky lost to unranked South Carolina on Tuesday night, but I’ve never been more impressed with the Wildcats.
Please click the link below and read it all. Another great piece by Gregg, who realizes just what a great accomplishment the Telethon was not just by Coach Calipari, but the fans who showed what makes Kentucky great last week.