Coal Miner Still Covered in Soot Drops Everything To Take Son to His First Basketball Game

Parents make sacrifices for their children all of the time. Sometimes they’re large, and sometimes they are small—like coming straight from work in order to participate in a special event. Michael McGuire is just that sort of dad. He’s a coal miner who, despite being covered in soot after a shift in the mines, rushed to be with his 3-year-old Easton and attend their first live basketball game together.

As McGuire sat in his work uniform and boots, he and Easton enjoyed watching the University of Kentucky men’s basketball Blue-White scrimmage. Their quality time at the game caught the attention of someone there: the University of Kentucky Head Basketball Coach John Calipari (aka Coach Cal).

The coach snapped a photo of the two and tweeted, “​​My family’s American dream started in a Clarksburg, WV coal mine, so this picture hits home.” He also wanted to give the family something special. “Don’t know who this is, but I have tickets for him & his family at Rupp [Arena] to be treated as VIPs!!”

Social media and Kentucky fans helped to quickly identify McGuire, who was unaware of all the fanfare because he was in the mines that day with no cell reception. But as he was driving home, his phone had nonstop notifications. Finally, he called his wife Mollie who told him that he’d become an internet sensation.

“It brought me to tears, just knowing so many people reached out,” Mollie said. “It was so heartwarming to see strangers thanking my husband, appreciating him for what he does for our family, and then to have Coach Cal do that, it was just amazing altogether. I never thought when we got up [that] morning it would be a day like this.”

The family is getting the VIP treatment at a future University of Kentucky game. They’ll be Calipari’s guests for dinner, enjoy a pregame shootaround, meet the players, and sit in courtside seats at Rupp Arena. They haven’t selected which game to attend yet, but it will certainly be a memorable one.

When Michael McGuire rushed from his coal mine job to watch a University of Kentucky basketball game with his son—still covered in soot—the head coach of the team took notice.

Although Coach Cal didn't know who the two were, the internet quickly helped identify them.

The family, which includes McGuire's wife Mollie and their 1-year-old daughter, is getting the VIP treatment at a future University of Kentucky game.

h/t: [Bored Panda]

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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