John Calipari, UK players give back to several families in need for Christmas

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Whenever people ask me about John Calipari, I tell them first and foremost that he’s a man who’s sincere about his faith and about giving back.

Calipari does it himself. He recruits business people to help him in the cause, and he makes sure his players understand that they have a duty to give back.

Wednesday evening was about all of that at the Craft Coal Lodge in Lexington. The Calipari Family Foundation, with the help of community partners, identified some 15 families that had needs in this holiday season.

They got to come and get a meal served by the team and the young ones got presents. Wildcats guard Keldon Johnson was even Santa for a while, but most importantly those needs were met.

Everything from new mattresses to clothes, to yes, Cal helping to pay rent for a while.

“Your joy comes from what you’re doing for someone else," Calipari said. "It’s not what you gather. It’s what you’re giving, and for me to see it, there was one little girl who had lost her mother in an accident and was being raised by her grandmother. Another family, the father lost his job in the hallway before he walked into the party. And to have these players understand only by the grace of God that’s not you or won’t be you.”

In a day in which we can all get too caught up in wins and losses take a look at this gallery from UK Photo’s Maddie Baker (yes that Maddie) as a reminder of the kind of coach and players that represent the University of Kentucky and the Commonwealth.

Maddie Baker | UK Athletics

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