Even if it meant showing up to the arena covered in soot from his job in a coal mine, Michael McGuire wanted his three-year-old son to see the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team for the first time. There was no way he was going to let his son miss out on this chance.

During the Wildcats’ annual Blue-White scrimmage, which took place on October 22 at the Appalachian Wireless Arena in Pikeville, a picture was taken of McGuire as he watched his son, Easton, smile at the players. His face and clothes were covered in dust and soot.

John Calipari, the legendary coach of the Kentucky basketball team, was one of the people who saw the picture after it went viral, and he explained why it was important to him.

“My family’s American dream started in a Clarksburg, WV coal mine, so this picture hits home,” he tweeted. “From what I’ve been told, after his shift, he raced to be with his son & watch our team. Don’t know who this is, but I have tickets for him & his family at Rupp to be treated as VIPs!!”

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The picture has gotten a lot of good comments, especially from other parents and fans of Kentucky.

“Much respect for this man making time to be a Dad!” one man commented on Calipari’s tweet. “I’m a union worker myself and know the struggle of trying to balance family time and work. Sometimes you have to make the hard choice to provide for your family but when you do get time make it truly count.”

McGuire is determined to make it to the game, even though he has to work long hours six days a week at a coal mine that is about 40 minutes away from the arena. He was determined to do it, even if it meant he wouldn’t have time to wash up before the game.

“Didn’t want to miss it,” he told TODAY’s Jacob Soboroff. “I’ve had to miss quite a few stuff.”

As a child, McGuire spent a lot of time with his own father watching University of Kentucky basketball games. He was thrilled to be able to pass this love on to his own son.

“Easton has taken a huge interest in sports, so it was the perfect time to buy tickets for Micheal and Easton to start that,” his wife, Mollie, said on TODAY.

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It didn’t take long for his son to become hooked on the action-packed games of Kentucky basketball.

“Easton was dancing and everything!” Micheal said.

“It’s been a fun experience for us as a family,” Mollie said.

McGuire may have stood out in the crowd during the game, but coal miners covered in soot and dust are a common sight at the sports games of their children in eastern Kentucky. This is because there are a lot of coal mines in that part of the state.

This year’s Blue-White game was especially important to the area because it raised more than $162,000 to help people who lost their homes in the deadly floods in eastern Kentucky earlier this summer. Floyd County, which is where the McGuire family lives, was one of the places that was hit the hardest.

“We had some friends who lost a lot,” Mollie said. “That’s when we looked at each other (and said), ‘All right, let’s do what we can.'”

Calipari is helping the McGuires in any way he can right now by giving them VIP tickets to a University of Kentucky Wildcats basketball game at the famous Rupp Arena in Lexington. Mollie and Michael have said that they will bring their one-year-old daughter Lynlee and their three-year-old son Easton to the big game on January 28 against Kansas, another legendary college basketball power.