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John Calipari Raised $1 Million for Charity - and a Place in Covington Will Benefit

University of Kentucky Basketball Head Coach John Calipari was concerned that he was not going to be able to raise $1 million for charity like he did last year. For a multitude of reasons, the UK Alumni Charity Game was canceled this year and Coach Cal wasn't sure how he would raise the funds.

Near the end of his third annual John Calipari Basketball Fantasy Experience, the coach announced roughly $1 million would go to twenty-three different charities and organizations this year, with the funds raised entirely by the fantasy experience, reported.

Among the chairites: The Children's Home of Northern Kentucky in Covington's Devou Park.

“Every one of (the fantasy campers) are here to win, (but) they know the bigger picture of why we’re doing this is it generates money for charity,” Calipari said Sunday, according to “If you add up the checks, which some of you may do, I think it’s $890,000. With matching funds it’s over a million dollars again. … There were (23) groups that benefited by this experience, by these players and by an auction last night that was outrageous. And everybody got involved. To whatever level people could get involved they did because they knew that’s what this was about: generating money for charity. I’m really proud of this experience for campers.”

Those who sign up for the Fantasy Experience get to become UK basketball players for three days with daily competitions, film sessions, access to UK facilities, official UK gear, exclusive social events, and more, reported. The entrance fee is upwards of $6,995. 64 people signed up.

The players were coached by current or former college coaches, their managers were current members of the UK team, and the camp ends with a tournament in Rupp Arena.

Calipari also sold sponsorships of the teams that competed in the tournament, among other fundraising strategies.

The exact amount to be awarded to each chairty was not disclosed Sunday.

Here is the full list of recipients:

4 Paws for Ability
ALS Association
Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky
Connecticut Burns Care Foundation
Fayette County Public Schools Financial Literacy
Fellowship of Christian Athletes
Golden Door Scholars
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
Kentucky Army National Guard Memorial
Kids 2 Camp
Louisville Zoo
Miracle League of Wilmington
One Parent Scholar House
Red Cross of the Bluegrass
Samaritan’s Feet
School to Work Council
Starkey Hearing Foundation
Streets Ministries
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Team Focus
Team for Kids
Urban League of Lexington

-Staff report