John Calipari planning statewide tornado relief tour this summer

On3 imageby:Tyler Thompson06/10/22


On3 image
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Today marks six months since a series of tornadoes wreaked havoc on Western Kentucky, killing 80 people and causing catastrophic damage. Last night, John Calipari renewed his pledge to give back to the region. During an appearance on BBN Tonight, Calipari announced plans for a statewide tornado relief tour this summer. Details are forthcoming, but Calipari said he plans to take the team around the state to collect supplies and donations for storm victims as he did in the wake of the West Liberty tornado in 2012.

“I don’t want anyone to forget West Kentucky and what happened out there,” Calipari said. “I haven’t been able to get out in the community because of COVID since 2019 but we’re going to make a tour, east, north, and south. Bounce around and do some things that collect things for West Kentucky. Figure out what they need and we’re going to be there for them.”

The tour will also allow Calipari and the players to connect with fans all across the state. After Joe B. Hall’s death in January, Calipari paid tribute to the former Kentucky coach by carrying a rolled-up program in his hand when he took the court for each game. He continued the tradition for the rest of the season and will bring the program with him on the statewide tour for fans to sign.

“Second thing I want to do is Coach Hall’s rolled-up program. I want us to take that with us wherever we go and not only will I sign autographs for whoever, but you can sign that book and it’ll be rolled up and you will be with us every game on the road or at home honoring Coach Hall and being part of this program.”

Continuing to give back to Western Kentucky

This is just the latest act of community service for the Wildcats following December’s storms. In addition to raising over $5.5 million for tornado relief with UK Athletics and Kelly Craft, Calipari visited Dawson Springs to deliver supplies and shoes from Samaritan’s Feet. During the season, he invited the Dawson Springs High School girls’ and boys’ basketball teams to practice and once the season was over, took the team to Dawson Springs for a visit.

Bigger than basketball.

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