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Calipari picks up Alltech 2015 Humanitarian Award for helping others ‘reach their dreams’


Kentucky head basketball coach John Calipari received Alltech’s prestigious 2015 Humanitarian Award on his home court at Rupp Arena on Wednesday after addressing more than 3,000 attendees from 68 nations on the closing day of the Alltech REBELation, an international conference exploring innovation, inspiration and world-changing ideas.
 

Known as a “dream maker,” Calipari has guided six college basketball teams to the Final Four, led one to a national championship and helped dozens of players make it to the NBA during his 23-year college coaching career.
 

Kentucky has played in four of the last five Final Fours.
 

John Calipari accepts the 2015 Humanitarian Award from Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech. Calipari was honored at the Alltech REBELation international conference for his commitment to philanthropic initiatives (Alltech Photo)

John Calipari accepts the 2015 Humanitarian Award from Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech. Calipari was honored at the Alltech REBELation international conference for his commitment to philanthropic initiatives (Alltech Photo)

“The state’s mission for me is to win titles; my mission is greater,” he said. “My mission is to be a vehicle to help others reach their dreams, to be the stone that creates the ripple in their lives that goes on and on.”
 

The Humanitarian Award is given annually to a person of strong character who uses his accomplishments to positively influence and inspire others. Calipari has leveraged his power of influence through widespread charitable endeavors.
 

In a 2010 telethon, “Hoops for Haiti,” The Calipari Foundation raised more than $1 million for victims of the devastating earthquake. Its 2012 telethon raised $1 million for victims of hurricane Sandy.
 

In presenting the award, Alltech founder and president Pearse Lyons lauded Calipari’s humanitarian trips to impoverished regions of the world, such as Haiti. Calipari noted that he and Lyons always ask one another, “What can we do to help these people?”
 

Accomplishing that on a grand scale, of course, takes more than an individual.
 

“I want 1,000 people to feel of themselves that, ‘Without me, this would never have happened,’” he said.
 

How does Calipari motivate people to achieve great goals? In his coaching capacity, he said, “It all starts with players first. Their dreams become our dreams. If we love them, if we’re about them, they can be about each other.”
 

Taking exception to the maxim “leaders are not made; they are born,” Calipari said, “I have to teach leadership day to day. Leadership is about serving everyone under you, asking yourself, ‘How do I give you the tools you need to succeed and proceed? How to be your brother’s keeper, how to push limits and take chances?’ They have to know that if things don’t work, leadership will take the responsibility.”
 

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Effective leaders, he said, motivate by telling their team, “As we succeed, we all benefit. We all reach our dreams. Your dream is our dream. We’ll push you to the limit, but don’t be afraid to fail.” His underlying message: “We win or we learn. It’s not about winning and losing. We use the experience to make ourselves better.”
 

Outlining his belief in motivating a team through “servant leadership,” Calipari noted that Alltech “has accomplished outrageous things because it understands what servant leadership is about. Dr. Lyons stands for things like us going to Haiti to figure out ways to help young people make better lives for themselves, bringing students here to sing and see what our campus is about. That’s what impresses me most about the leadership of this company.”
 

Calipari urged attendees to think like a world leader. “We don’t think like a king. A king thinks bigger,” he said.
 

“How do I get my players to think that way, to do more?” Observing that “money has wings and fame is fleeting,” Calipari said he tells them, “When you’re in that seat, ask yourself what are you doing to leverage it for others. What is your ‘why?…It’s amazing what gets done when no one cares who gets the credit.”
 

From Alltech Media Relations


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