LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – The University of Kentucky men’s basketball team has any number of options for scheduling non-conference opponents. The thought process in scheduling its next game has a much deeper meaning.
John Calipari and Kentucky decided to start the Unity Series, scheduling games against teams from the Southwestern Athletic Conference which is made up of historically black colleges and universities.
The Wildcats will face off against Southern University next week on Tuesday, but the moment brings a much greater impact than just a game.
“You’re basically bringing light to it and educating and getting people to look and say wow,” Kentucky head men’s basketball coach John Calipari said.
The Unity Series extends beyond the game and includes a number of meetings and fundraisers between the schools to help raise awareness of the initiatives at HBCU’s in the conference and beyond.
The two teams are taking a trip to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Museum in Cincinnati for an educational tour. Calipari said the fight for racial justice continues to be at the front of their minds.
“When you see something that you don’t feel is quite right and you’re in a position to make a difference, it’s probably a sin if you don’t try,” Calipari said. “What we’re doing here, I hope other schools do.”
In addition, 150 tickets will be provided to three Lexington elementary schools identified by UK’s Diversity Advisory Committee.
The Unity Series is scheduled for each of the next five years.