November 23, 2017

Webster basketball donates to hurricane relief

University of Houston men’s basketball head coach Kelvin Sampson has led an effort to raise donations for people who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey, which caused record flooding in southeast Texas.

On August 28, Sampson sent out a tweet directed at basketball coaches on all levels who wanted to help out.

Webster University women’s basketball head coach Jordan Olufson saw Sampson’s tweet and decided to take action. He got together with men’s basketball head coach Chris Bunch and sent shirts, shorts and other Webster gear to Texas.

“It’s a great project to help out everybody who lost their house and clothes,” Olufson said. “Teams across the country are helping out and that’s another way we can help out all the way from St. Louis.”

Bunch said he gathered extra items of clothing he had around to send to Texas.

“We order our players things every year and there is always some items left over,” Bunch said. We just took the leftover stuff from last year and sent it down there.”

CBS Sports reported Sampson’s tweet garnered 1,300 donation commitments. On his Twitter page, Sampson has information on where to send donations.

Hurricane Irma hit Florida two weeks after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas. Olufson said Webster basketball will collaborate again to send donations to Irma victims.

“We are just kind of figuring out what their big needs are,” Olufson said. “If it’s going to be bottled water or it will be clothing, just kind of depends on what they need. Because right now they are without electricity.”

Webster director of athletics Scott Kilgallon said the NCAA granted a waiver to Sampson and the coaches who donated items to hurricane victims.

“I think it is a great demonstration on what we try to teach our students all the time, which is giving back,” Kilgallon said. “It’s necessary, it’s the right thing to do and kudos for the coaches for putting that together.”

Kilgallon said the athletes and coaches from all sports are working out details to make more donations to victims of both hurricanes.

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