Photo by Chris Reynolds
While the football game was nothing short of a disappointment there was another event in Lexington yesterday that should have every Wildcat proud to be a member of the Big Blue Nation. Yesterday the Alumni game raised over 300,000 dollars for various charities. Not only was it a chance for fans to see their favorite players wear the blue and white again but it will go on to make an impact in hundreds of lives. Despite all of Cal’s success as a recruiter, a coach, and a leader perhaps his greatest strength has been giving back.
Three years ago Cal came into the program and restored the glory. But his legacy will be much more than just a great basketball coach. When everything is said and done Cal should be remembered for the incredible work he has done as a philanthropist. Look at the incredible things he has done in just three years. In year one after Haiti was devastated by a terrible earthquake Cal made the call to action. He quickly organized the Hoops for Haiti telethon which raised over 525,000 for the relief efforts. With matching funds that number was closer to a million. Cal has been involved with the Samaritan’s Feet program and has decided to move the Calipari Foundation to Lexington. Just last month he dropped in while KSR was in West Liberty he pledged to match funds and helped to raise over 60,000 for the decimated town.
With yesterday’s totals Cal has given back over a million to the community and those in desperate need. He’s been to two final fours and won a national championship. He has reunited all of our former players and brought about a family atmosphere to the program. He recruits the best of the best. He supports all the teams at UK. He represents the state with pride. John Calipari is a great coach but he is a better role model for how to help all people with what he has earned. Coach Cal gets it.