Justin Tinder, Sports Information Director
CHICKASHA – In response to flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey that devastated parts of Texas, the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma men’s basketball team is doing their part in contributing to reliefs efforts.
Head coach Chris Francis said the idea was brought upon by the University of Houston men’s basketball coach Kelvin Sampson, who previously coached at the University of Oklahoma. Sampson tweeted to the basketball community asking for help in collecting donations.
“Even before I read the Sampson’s tweet, I wanted to come up with a way to help,” Francis said. “I called my assistant and we tried to gather up everything we could to donate and had our players bring us things they wanted to contribute as well.
“We are a small university, but with big hearts. Everyone who works here from President (John) Feaver down to my managers are willing to do whatever it takes to help someone out. This university and the community are incredible,” Francis said.
Francis has volunteered his office as a donation drop-off spot for anyone who wants to help. He and his basketball team package the items and ship to relief agencies in Houston.
Francis’ connection to Houston is strong and recent. Two players from last year’s team – Brendan Chapman and Charles Williams – are from the area.
“I’ve reached out to Brendan and Chuck. They are doing fine and in a safe area,” Francis said. “It’s devastating what is happening down there and donating the supplies is the least we could do. I hate to see what is happening to Houston, but I love the fact that everyone – no matter what race or ethnicity – is coming together to lend a helping hand. I thank everyone for helping and saving lives, there’s been a lot of heroic actions. We should all take the time out to say a prayer or do what you believe in to help everyone in Houston and the surrounding areas. “