John Calipari of the 2015 class of inductee into the Basketball Hall of Fame during a news conference at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015, in Springfield, Mass. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Jessica Hill
September 24, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari was in the House chamber for Pope Francis' speech Thursday as a guest of House Speaker John Boehner.

The Hall of Fame coach couldn't contain himself and sent out excited tweets in anticipation. Wednesday night, he tweeted that the speech was going to be ''one of the highlights of my life.''

After the speech, Calipari said it was and noted, ''he speaks from the heart. ... You can feel his presence.''

Calipari said friends helped him get the ticket from Boehner, who sat behind the pontiff with Vice President Joe Biden. On Twitter before the speech, Calipari asked his followers not to hate him for loving the pope.

''If I get close enough, I absolutely will kiss his ring,'' he tweeted.

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