Calipari on his foundation supporting the flood victims in Baton Rouge
Press release from the Calipari Foundation
Lexington, KY / Aug. 25, 2016 – Two of the three pillars Kentucky head coach John Calipari supports his program with are servant leadership and to have a kind heart. On Thursday, Calipari once again practiced what he preached.
At a news conference called Thursday morning, Coach Cal announced that all proceeds generated from Sunday’s inaugural Coach Cal Celebrity Softball Classic (6 p.m. ET at Whitaker Bank Ballpark) would go to the American Red Cross to bene t those a ected by the devastating oods in Louisiana.
“There’s water still soaked in some of the houses,” Calipari said. “We lived it in New Jersey, New York (with Superstorm Sandy) and now they’re living it down there. When you see that kind of stu , it just moves you.”
Calipari also announced that donations can be made via text message through The Calipari Foundation. People can text “GIVE” to 859-955-8173 and make their donation. One hundred percent of the proceeds generated will be given to the American Red Cross and go to ood relief.
“When you talk about the heat down in Baton Rouge right now that they have to deal with along with this water, I can’t even imagine,” Calipari said. “So whatever we can do, either by texting, by going to (CoachCal.com) and buying tickets to the softball game, all the money for that weekend will be there.”
In case the softball game has to be canceled Sunday due to inclement weather, Calipari announced that all those fans who had bought tickets to the game will be allowed to attend a preseason Ken- tucky basketball practice announced at a later date.
“There will probably be a lot of people hoping for rain on Sunday,” Calipari joked. “There will be a lot of rain dancing on Sunday to hope that we do rain out, but it should be a lot of fun.”
Coach Cal also announced that The Calipari Foundation has partnered with the Starkey Hearing Foundation and will distribute 80 hearing aids to Kentucky residents prior to the softball game.
“I’m just happy we can be involved,” Calipari said. “I want our players to be involved kind of like we were with Samaritan’s Feet where we’re putting socks on, washing feet, and giving shoes to kids who need them. These hearing aids when people hear for the rst time where they’re like, ‘Oh.’ Whether they’re young or old or hear again, it becomes emotional.”
In addition to the softball game, the 2016 John Calipari Basketball Fantasy Experience, which is being held Friday through Sunday, will once again make donations to a number of charities. After donating $350,000 to charity in 2012, the fantasy experience donated $1 million in 2013, $1 million in 2014 (without the help of the UK Alumni Charity Game) and $1.5 million last year.
“The issue became we already committed money to di erent charities and that money that goes to those charities is very important to them,” Calipari said.
“I would have done the whole weekend and given it (to the ood relief ), but we’ve committed to other charities and those charities, like I said before, it’s important to those charities (with) the money we give to them also.”
Tickets for the Coach Cal Celebrity Softball Classic are available now and will include three di erent tiers of opportunities for fans to come out and see the game while also supporting a great cause.
General admission tickets to Whitaker Bank Ballpark are $8, premium seating is $20 and the Coach Cal VIP Experience Ticket Package is $100. The VIP Experience will include seats behind home plate in the Diamond Club/Super Club and an invitation to a pregame “Cats Conversations,” a chalk talk forum with a question and answer opportunity hosted by Coach Cal and Karl-Anthony Towns. This exclusive opportunity is limited to 200 tickets.
For more ticket information please go to CoachCalSoftballClassic.com.
Among this year’s attendees will be Towns, the 2016 NBA Rookie of the Year, 2012 NCAA champion Terrence Jones, 2013 NBA Draft No. 6 overall pick Nerlens Noel,1978 national champion Kyle Macy, 1999 NFL Draft No. 1 overall pick and UK Athletics Hall of Famer Tim Couch, UK baseball coach Nick Mingione, UK softball assistant coach Molly Johnson, NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver Cris Carter, actors Josh Hopkins and Steve Zahn, ESPN reporter Kaylee Hartung and many more.
The Coach Cal Celebrity Softball Classic is being played this year in place of the annual UK Alumni Charity Basketball Game while Rupp Arena is under construction.