Touching Photo of ‘Father of the Year’ Coal Miner and Son at a Basketball Game



A smartphone photo of a Kentucky coal miner who rushed straight from work to take his family to a college basketball game has been shared by legendary coach John Calipari.

The photo shows Michael McGuire and his son sitting in the stands at a University of Kentucky Wildcats game on Saturday that was played in Pikeville, Eastern Kentucky.

The photo of McGuire still wearing his work uniform and heavy boots while his face and arms are covered in black coal dust was taken by fellow attendee Sue Kinneer who posted the photo on her Facebook page.

“I don’t know who this guy is but he has my vote for ‘father of the year’,” she writes. “He obviously just got off from work and brought his little boy straight to the Blue-White game!”

The photo was then shared by the head coach of the University of Kentucky’s basketball team John Calipari.

“My family’s American dream started in a Clarksburg, WV coal mine, so this picture hits home,” he writes on Twitter.

“From what I’ve been told, 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 & his family at Rupp to be treated as VIPs!!”


Calipari has since been put in touch with McGuire and his family who have been invited to another game

The Louisville Courier Journal reports that Mcguire averages 50 hours a week at his job with Excel Mining, a preparation plant that operates out of Pike County in Eastern Kentucky.

McGuire had a 30-minute drive Saturday evening to get from his job to the annual Kentuck3y basketball Blue-White scrimmage in Pikeville with his son. He and his family didn’t expect a photo of the pair to go viral days later.

“I’ve thought a lot today about my grandfather, who worked underground in the mine,” Calipari added on Twitter.

“I’ve also had the privilege to go underground with miners in KY and a comment stuck out to me: ‘We go down together and we come up together.’ They work for each other. The ultimate teammates!!”

Image credits: Photo courtesy of Sue Kinneer.

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