Lexington — The John Calipari Basketball Fantasy Experience has generated approximately $4 million for various charities over its first four years. The fifth annual edition of the Experience, which was capped off with the inaugural Coach Cal Celebrity Softball Classic, didn’t miss a beat.
The Calipari Foundation announced Sunday that with matching donations it will generate more than $1 million that will be presented to 14 different organizations. That $1 million does not include ticket sales for Sunday’s Coach Cal Celebrity Softball Classic, text donations, or the upcoming Papa John’s promotion. The $1 million was raised exclusively from the John Calipari Basketball Fantasy Experience.
All money raised from Sunday’s Coach Cal Celebrity Softball Classic will go toward flood relief efforts in Louisiana. Calipari also announced that beginning Monday participating Papa John’s locations will offer a large, two-topping pizza for $10, with $1 of the sale donated to The Calipari Foundation to help with the Louisiana flood relief efforts.
The money generated from the fantasy experience will go to the following 14 different organizations:
-Team Focus -Urban League of Lexington-Fayette County -American Red Cross, Bluegrass Chapter -Samaritan’s Feet -Connecticut Burn Care Foundation -EverFi -One Parent Scholar House -Miracle League of Wilmington -Kidz1stFund -St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital -Score International -4 Paws for Ability -Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation -Boys & Girls Club of the Twin Cities
Three of the first four years of the annual John Calipari Basketball Fantasy Experience weekends included an alumni basketball game, but with Rupp Arena currently under construction the idea to hold a celebrity softball game was born.
Page 1 of 2
Then, after the floods in Louisiana occurred, former UK forward Anthony Davis gave Calipari the idea to have the money raised from the game go toward flood relief efforts in his current home state.
After generating $350,000 for charity in 2012, the fantasy experience generated $1 million in 2013, $1 million in 2014 (without the help of the UK Alumni Charity Game), and $1.5 million last year.
This year’s final number, including the fantasy experience and the softball game, won’t be known until the end of the Papa John’s promotion, but it has without a doubt been yet another successful year in using everyone’s love for basketball toward facilitating an even greater love: Helping others.