RICHMOND, Ky. (LEX 18) — About 800 miles away, the Nicholls State University campus in Thibodaux, Louisiana is still closed to students, due to the effects of Hurricane Ida.
The men’s basketball team, however, has found a temporary home: Richmond, Kentucky.
For at least the next two to three weeks, the Eastern Kentucky University Colonels will make room for the Nicholls State University Colonels.
Nicholls State’s head coach, Austin Claunch, said he picked up the phone last week and called Matt Roan, EKU’s athletic director, who had previously served in the same role at Nicholls State.
“From the very first call that we had they weren’t just willing,” Claunch recalled. “They were anxious to help us.”
Claunch said that the players’ families are safe. Some of their homes sustained damage, but he said it has not been too severe. The campus, meanwhile, is still weeks away from opening.
“Thibodaux still doesn’t have power,” Claunch said. “Houma doesn’t have power or water.”
A.W. Hamilton, the head coach of the EKU men’s basketball team, said the Colonels from Louisiana can stay as long as they need.
“It’s not what you get,” Hamilton said, invoking a lesson he has tried to instill in his players. “It’s what you give.”
Claunch said that whenever they return back to Louisiana, they will be playing with a new sense of purpose.
“When we get back and we start the season,” he said. “We're gonna be playing for a lot more than just ourselves.