The Kentucky Wildcats are the defending national champions and they are about to begin their title defense this week when they open the season against the Maryland Terrapins in the Barclays Center Classic in Brooklyn.
But basketball isn’t the only thing on the mind of the Wildcats this week. On Wednesday, the Wildcats will team up with WYKT to host a telethon to raise money for the victims of Superstorm Sandy.
The telethon will last an hour (7 p.m. until 8 p.m.) and will be aired throughout the basketball-crazed state through the UK/IMG Sports Network Affiliates. Members of the team will take phone falls for donations and all of the money raised will go to the American Red Cross.
I always love hearing stories about athletes doing something good, and while the Wildcats often take heat for their heavy use of the one-and-done players and head coach John Calipari is often criticized for a variety of reasons by outsiders, you have to admire what the UK program is doing.
The Wildcats could probably find 100 other things to do with their time, but instead, they are doing something good for people who don’t even live in their state. It’s a classy move, no doubt, and the players will gain a great deal from the experience of helping others.
College basketball is a big deal in our country, much the way sports as a whole is. But once in awhile we need reminders that sports pales in comparison to real-world issues. With their telethon this week, the Wildcats are providing the latest reminder they should be given a lot of credit for doing their part to help people dealing with something far more serious than a game.
Brian Lester is a featured Big Ten columnist and college basketball writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @BLester1993 or send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.