By LARRY VAUGHT
John Calipari understands coaching basketball, but he also understands how to connect with University of Kentucky fans.
This morning in the Bahamas, he announced a way to raise money for his charitable foundation and “include” all of Big Blue Nation by selling raffle tickets for $50 each only to fans who made the trip to the Bahamas to watch the Cats play four exhibition games. Calipari stressed on Twitter that the raffle was “limited” to fans in the “#BigBlueBahamas” and noted that many fans on the trip either didn’t have tickets to games in Rupp Arena or if they did they were not courtside seats like the raffle winners would receive.
The raffle winner will get two courtside tickets — plus parking — for both the Tennessee and Auburn games.
“There will be two separate winners for games against top-10 and maybe even top-five teams. We will announce the winners at halftime of Sunday’s game,” Calipari tweeted. “As you come to the arena tonight, there will be signage to buy the raffle tickets. And even if you aren’t coming to the game tonight and are in the #BigBlueBahamas, you can still come to the box office and purchase one.”
Calipari’s raffle comes one day after a tweet from UK basketball about taking “some of our most loyal fans” on a boat trip with the players Friday. Those fans were all KFund donors.
Calipari didn’t need long to make it clear he appreciated every UK fan who made the Bahamas trip.
“We are doing this to thank all of the people who traveled with us and on their own and sacrificed to be here. If you want to be involved, great. If you don’t, we understand. Tickets are donated and all proceeds are going to charity,” Calipari posted on Twitter.
Again, nice way to raise money for his charitable foundation but an even better message to let all UK fans in the Bahamas know they had a chance to be included and also send a message to all UK fans that he wanted them to feel included.