Their school was destroyed, but they still made the state tournament
Their school was destroyed, but they still made the state tournament In this Tuesday, March 14, 2017 photo, Herbert Hoover High School boys basketball coach Josh Daniel speaks with his players during high school basketball practice in Charleston, W.Va.. Nine months after floods destroyed their high school in Clendenin, the boys team has advanced to the state tournament for the first time in school history. (AP Photo/John Raby)
Their school was destroyed, but they still made the state tournament
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After flooding destroyed their high school in West Virginia last summer, the Herbert Hoover boys' basketball team spent the season practicing and competing in unfamiliar places.
They'll also end it in a place they've never been before: the state tournament.
Herbert Hoover struggled through the regular season with a losing record, then put together four straight wins in the postseason, including a double-overtime thriller in the regional final, to advance to the 104-year-old tournament for the first time in school history.
Now the Huskies are ready for what they hope will be one final incredible road show.
With the destruction from the floods still weighing heavily on the community, the Huskies (13-13) opened tournament play March 16 at the Charleston Civic Center against defending champion Fairmont Senior.
"Nobody expected this out of us," senior center Chase King said.
Playing basketball was an afterthought last June in the community of 1,200 about 20 miles northeast of Charleston. The Elk River rose 10 feet high in some buildings, destroying bridges and ripping homes from their foundations. Six people in Kanawha (KUH-naw) County died; 23 were killed statewide.
Herbert Hoover coach Josh Daniel said every student was directly affected or had a relative whose home flooded, and members of the basketball team joined other volunteers to help in the community in the weeks that followed.
King, who said the floods got into the second floor of an uncle's house, spent a week removing furniture from a woman's home and pressure washing and sanitizing other places. Senior guard Kody McGraw went with a church group to clean up storm victims' homes and remove debris from the school's mud-caked baseball field.
Principal Mike Kelley was among the few who walked the hallways of the school after the flood. That was before the school building was condemned.
Daniel and the basketball team never got to see the damage to the school because they weren't allowed back in and only saw the buckled floor of the gymnasium from photographs.
"Just seeing those pictures, so many memories washed down the drain," King said.
Those memories are being replaced by greater ones.
When school started last fall, Herbert Hoover students assembled in a temporary home, attending afternoon classes at a middle school nine miles away. Donations poured in for uniforms and equipment for the school's sports teams. And parents joined together to carpool the basketball team to morning practices at a YMCA in Charleston. Their home games were held at the middle school gym.
"Our kids don't complain about it," Daniel said.
Daniel said he hasn't mentioned the flood to his players since the season started. King said the devastation "was just more motivation to go out and show everybody we may not be the best team that you're going to play, but we're definitely going to be the toughest."
Getting to the tournament "just seems surreal, really," McGraw said. "A lot of people want to see us do good."
That includes Diane Chandler, owner of an income tax and bookkeeping service in Clendenin, where the floodwaters rose more than 5 feet up the walls. It took four months for her to clean up and reopen her business.
"I think it's wonderful that they've rallied back like that," Chandler said. "It makes us say that if they can do it, anybody can do it."

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Why was the building condemned rather than repaired?
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  • makenziev-pla
    3/21/2017 - 10:34 a.m.

    This article was about a high school boys basketball team who made it to their state tournament despite a large number of odds against them. Their school was destroyed by horrible floods last summer and had spent the last year playing and practicing un unfamiliar places. On top of that each and every member of the team was directly affected in some way and all of them joined some sort of volunteer group to help clean up the damage that was done to their hometown.

    I think that this is a good example of civil engagement because despite the fact that all of these boys had felt the detrimental effects of the flooding, they still stood up to help their community overcome the damage. This will truly make them leaders in their community because as a team they were able to help the people around them, even though they had been affected as well. Making it to the state tournament only makes this story more admirable, as they were able to be flexible and still work their hardest despite all that was going on around them.

  • bradl-pla
    3/21/2017 - 11:08 a.m.

    This shows the value of community engagement. When the school was destroyed, the people in the city could have easily become depressed and given up on activities like basketball. However, the people in the city came together and supported each other through the tough times. The perseverance of the kids showed their spirit and their desire to move on from the flood. Without the support of the community, I don't believe that the kids could have accomplished this feet.

  • kiannab2-sch
    3/22/2017 - 12:38 p.m.

    This article is about a school that got flooded out. The basketball team made it to the finals. Everyone in the community came together to help out the team with uniforms and extra money. They play their home games at a near by middle school. " After flooding destroyed their high school in West Virginia last summer, the Herbert Hoover boys' basketball team spent the season practicing and competing in unfamiliar places. ""

  • lukej1-pla
    3/23/2017 - 11:27 a.m.

    Herbert Hoover high school in West Virginia flooded last June when rivers rose over 10 feet, destroying houses and infrastructure all over the area. The high school's basketball team overcame a losing record to make the state finals, all the while carpooling to different gyms and schools throughout the area to practice and play games. Many of the students on the team worked to help clean the community after the flooding.

    I like the article. Having never experienced such a communal disaster, it's really cool to see how others deal with great losses and use them to come together as a community and rebuild. The basketball team has proven that not only can they handle what nature throws their way, but they can unify with the rest of their community and use it to rally into a state tournament.

  • vaneises-
    3/24/2017 - 08:36 a.m.

    With such a large building being flooded out and destroyed, repairs would be extremely expensive more so than building a new one of the same size. So it would just be cheaper to condemn the school.

  • andresf2-sch
    3/24/2017 - 12:52 p.m.

    This article is about a group of boys that are in a basketball team, from Herbert Hoover high school from a tragic flood that rose 5 feet high in the walls and killed 23 people statewide. Even though this had a great negative effect on the kids they came back stronger than ever and went to the state tournament. They did this by practicing in unfamiliar places such as practicing in the YMCA and playing their home games in nearby middle school

  • noahr-ste
    3/24/2017 - 01:02 p.m.

    The Herbert Hoover boys basketball team had their high school get flooded. As a athlete i could no imagine not having a home court. It would be awful to play all your games away.

  • tiaraf2-pay
    3/27/2017 - 09:05 a.m.

    I think this is an inspiring story about a basketball team in Virginia Herbert hoover high. No one expected the team to win let alone go to the state tournament. The disaster that occurred there did't stop the team from winning and achieving their dreams. The places they practiced in did't stop them from getting better.

  • parkerz-cel
    3/27/2017 - 10:18 a.m.

    The building was condemned rather than repaired because the entire school was under water. The water levels rose up to 5 feet and destroyed everything in its path such as books and computers, and for the boys basketball it most likely destroyed their wooden floor in which they play on.

  • jareds-cel
    3/27/2017 - 10:19 a.m.

    The building was condemned because the damage to the school was to drastic to be repaired. The levels rose to five feet and the school could not have been repaired to what it used to be. The gym floor was in ruins so the school had to transfer to the nearby middle school. Also some practices were held at the YMCA and the home basketball games were hosted at the middle school gymnasium.

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