NewsCovering Kentucky


EKU Men's basketball team helps flood victims in Hazard

eku 1.jpg
Posted at 6:10 PM, Aug 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-09 18:17:01-04

PERRY COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — Eastern Kentucky University's Men's Basketball team was in Hazard on Tuesday helping sort donations at a center for flood victims. The team's head manager, Bryce Watts, is from the area. Watts and his family were impacted, and Tuesday was the first time back since the floods.

"It feels really good seeing my teammates and the coaching staff come with me," shared Watts. "I've been with these guys every day since last summer, so I hardly ever get to come home, and just to get to see them do something for me means a lot."

Watts lost the trailer that his late grandfather left for him. He says seeing the team out here today has been a transformative experience.

“It's unsalvageable, but my family is ok that's the important thing. I’m not even upset about it, there's a lot of more people that have worse problems than I do so I’m just thankful my family is okay,” said Watt.

The team's head coach, A.W. Hamilton, says their school represents eastern Kentucky and with so many personally impacted on their team it was that much more important to get out and show this community support.

"Not just when we play basketball games but representing eastern Kentucky is a big deal to us, and it's a big deal to all our players," Hamilton said.

Members of the basketball team said they don't just want to show leadership on the basketball court, but in their communities as well.

"Everything is bigger than basketball," Senior guard Cooper Robb said. "You never know who you're gonna meet, you never know who you're gonna meet here, so, anytime you can help someone in times of need I mean it makes them feel good, it makes you feel good."

Watts shared that many of the team's players aren't from Kentucky. He says many saw the floods through pictures. Now, he says these players are getting to meet the community and see the impacts of the flood.

“You can definitely see that they didn't think it was as serious as it is and part of me wishes we could've came a little earlier so that they can see it at its worst but it's still pretty bad. But you can definitely see that this isn't something they've seen before,” said Watts.

Head coach Hamilton says this team’s leadership will continue to reach new heights.

"It's a special group of guys we've got. You know, said they're really proud to be here and they want to keep continuing to do more and we're gonna keep doing more."