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Kentucky, Western Kentucky to Play Game for Tornado Relief Fund

On the same day that the Kentucky men's basketball team had to postpone its Wednesday matchup with rival Louisville because of a COVID-19 outbreak within the Cardinals' program, the Wildcats have quickly found a replacement opponent—and a worthy cause to play for.

Kentucky will play Western Kentucky instead in a game that will raise money for tornado relief after a devastating tornado ravaged the region earlier this month, the school announced Monday. News of the game was initially reported by Matt Norlander of CBS Sports.

"We were all disappointed to learn we won't be able to play Louisville on Wednesday, but I am thrilled we were able to come together quickly and put this game together for everyone in this state," Kentucky head coach John Calipari said. "I want to thank Western Kentucky for working with us on short notice. Not only will this be a great test for our team, but we will be able to provide aid to the Western Kentucky region and lift the spirits of some special people who really need it."

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Calipari has contributed to the relief cause, visiting survivors and donating shoes alongside former Wildcats player Darius Miller on Sunday. He's also teamed with Charlotte-based nonprofit Samaritan's Feet to help secure 10,000 pairs of shoes to donate to victims, according to Olivia Krauth of The Courier-Journal.

Western Kentucky scored a major win on Saturday by beating Louisville at home, 82-72. After the game, Hilltoppers head coach Rick Stansbury said he was excited about how his team performed, but his heart was still with the people in the community who have been impacted by the tragedy.

“At the end of the day, a lot of excitement out here. A lot of excitement. But it’s still a game, man. It’s a game,” Stansbury said, per The Courier-Journal's Brett Dawson. “When you drive out of here, some of you folks that haven’t seen some things, drive by some of those communities. See how our communities got destroyed.” 

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