Prep Boys Basketball

Quincy coaches hear plea for help, contribute to hurricane relief efforts

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Aug. 31, 2017 1:40 am Updated: Aug. 31, 2017 8:11 am

Andy Douglas was sifting through Twitter on Wednesday night when he saw a number of tweets related to University of Houston men's basketball coach Kelvin Sampson's plea.

"I was blown away," said Douglas, the Quincy High School boys basketball coach.

Sampson made a plea to his colleagues nationwide to assist in the recovery efforts from Hurricane Harvey, asking coaches to send 20 pairs of shoes or 20 t-shirts that can be distributed to the flood victims. Western Michigan coach Steve Hawkins, the former Quincy University coach, was one of the first to use social media to answer Sampson's plea.

Others have followed from every level -- high school to junior college to NCAA Division I programs. Coaches have been tweeting pictures of the boxes packaged up and ready to ship.

"After seeing that, I was thinking about sending an email out throughout our district to see what we could do," Douglas said.

It was about that time Jeremy Osborne, the boys basketball coach at Father Tolton High School in Columbia, Mo., and a QHS graduate, tagged Douglas in a string of tweets that centered around how they could help. Douglas took it and ran with it.

Wednesday morning, he emailed Quincy Superintendent Roy Webb and all the coaches throughout the district. Within hours, they had collected nearly 1,000 items. QHS students volunteered their time to help fold and pack the gear so it could be shipped out this week.

"That's the coaching fraternity," Douglas said. "Everyone is giving something."

It's happening throughout the community.

Quincy University men's basketball coach Ryan Hellenthal boxed up all the extra t-shirts he could find. John Wood Community College men's basketball coach Brad Hoyt did the same thing.

Others have made monetary donations to the Red Cross, and some have helped purchase cases of bottled water that are being trucked to Texas.

"We're happy to help in any way we can," Hellenthal said. "The basketball community is like a big family, and anyway we can help we want to. Sending 30 shirts doesn't seem like a lot of shirts, but that's 30 people we can help. That's what we're all about."

It hits closer to home for Hoyt and his program.

Sophomore forward Aziz Fadika is from Katy, Texas, which is a suburb of Houston. Fadika's family lives in a safe spot, but the catastrophe has affected their lives.

"The scope of what this is and how challenging things are is an amazing thing," Hoyt said. "The more you watch, the more you want to help out as a human being. I know that area. I've recruited that area. You want to know those people are OK. So you do whatever you can."

That kind of response from all parts of the United States is overwhelming.

"They have to have more boxes coming there than they have manpower to unpack them all," Hellenthal said. "That's a great problem to have. That means people from everywhere are helping out. You want to help in any way you can."

It's reassuring that in a time of strife this country can still be united.

"The world is in such a place that to see people coming together and galvanizing over help and service is something we don't see enough," Hoyt said. "It restores some faith in a lot of ways."

And it restores the belief people are willing to make a sacrifice for their fellow man.

"It's refreshing to see the community you grew up in, the community you call your own step up in such a short time," Douglas said. "It's a blessing."

Sign up for Email Alerts