A Kentucky coal miner runs away from work to watch a basketball game with his son. Now they are being rewarded with VIP tickets.

Michael McGuire dropped out of work in the coal mine and arrived at Roop Arena at the University of Kentucky. He was covered in dirt from work, didn’t have time to shower after his shift, but he had something important to do: watch a basketball game with his son.

As McGuire and his son enjoyed the game together, a fan snapped a photo — and it quickly went viral. It also made room for University of Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari, who was moved by the image.

Calipari said at a news conference on Tuesday that when he was sent the photo, it hit him “between his eyes”. Koch tweeted the photo and shared why it made such an impact on him: “My family’s American dream started in the Clarksburg, WV coal mine, so this photo hits home,” he wrote.

He said he wanted to give the family VIP tickets and after asking around, he was able to contact McGuire’s wife, Molly.

Molly tells Calipari that her husband is humble and hardworking. According to Calipari, Mollie said, “It’s hard work, but he’s there enough that I don’t have to work. And he’s a great dad. He’s done it so many times.”

When Calipari called with McGuire, Dad told the coach that when he was called into the office at work, he thought he had done something wrong. But when he went inside, everyone was cheering him.

Calipari said that McGuire wanted to stay in the game so badly, “he was ready to change without showering, just get in his car and go because he left mine late.”

“It wasn’t about him. It was that he wanted to be with his son. So he did it,” Koch said.

Calipari said that since the photo went viral, hotels have been calling, giving rooms. Restaurants are calling, offering dinner. Even a car dealership offered McGuire a car.

“Isn’t it neat for someone like that, who is a calm, polite person, to know that people appreciate you, and we appreciate you?” Calipari said. “And I appreciate it because that’s how my family got their start in this country. The American dream began in a coal mine in Clarksburg, West Virginia.”

Koch said that within five minutes of seeing the photo for the first time, he decided “It’s here, I’m taking care of this man and his family.”

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