Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari honored a slain teen with a special Mother’s Day gift.
Sixteen-year-old basketball prospect Taylon Vail was killed in a shooting earlier this year. The Arkansas native had dreamed of playing for Kentucky before the tragedy occurred and, this Mother’s Day, Calipari mailed Vail’s mom a custom Kentucky jersey, and issued an official scholarship offer in Vail’s memory. (RELATED: REPORT: Kentucky Offers John Calipari A Lifetime Contract)
A grieving mother received a custom jersey from her son’s favorite basketball team, marked with his last name and signed by Wildcats coach John Calipari. https://t.co/UQ0MrYc92Q
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) May 28, 2019
The jersey was customized and designed with the number 35, which was reportedly Vail’s favorite number.
“I was trying not to get tears on the jersey,” Vail’s mother told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “It wasn’t until then that I realized why she asked me to go wash my hands. It was pristine. It’s so special.”
This is a first-class move by Calipari, who tends to take a lot of heat from fans of the sport. Never forget the impact that sports (and basketball) can have on people.
It’s more than just a game and Calipari’s kindness is yet another example of that reality.