Kentucky basketball: Blue-White Game was more than just a game

Kentucky Wildcats forward Jacob Toppin (Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports)
Kentucky Wildcats forward Jacob Toppin (Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Kentucky basketball program took their annual Blue-White Game on the road this year to show support for the flood victims of eastern Kentucky. In a special moment for the area, Wildcats head coach John Calipari proved once again that this game can be more than just a game. 

The Wildcats put on a show for the eastern Kentucky crowd, but the game wasn’t even the real story. The story is about how a group of young men and a coaching staff continue to show selflessness in times of need.

Pikeville, Kentucky, for one night, was the center of the college basketball world and the home of the state’s beloved Wildcats. The fans who don’t get the opportunity to make the trip to Lexington as much as they would like, got to see their team in their own backyard.

The event went on to be a huge event for the relief of flood victims of the area, with the program and its fans helping raise $162,450. A simple gesture of playing a game turned into a night everyone in the arena will never forget.

I’m an eastern Kentucky kid through and through. Saturday’s event means more to the people of the area than some could ever imagine. An area of people that often get the feeling that they’re a forgotten group banded together to show how strong they really are.

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I’m proud to be an eastern Kentuckian and proud of the Kentucky basketball program for sharing the heart of what this game is all about. In a world that sometimes can feel bitterly cold, Saturday’s Blue-White Game shined a light on our old Kentucky home.