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

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?
Write your answers in the comments section below

  • metau-cel
    3/27/2017 - 10:20 a.m.

    The flood took West Virginia by storm and destroyed many homes, schools, and other community buildings and shops. The boys basketball team used this as an opportunity to help the community and grow closer together. The school building was condemned and authorized unsafe because it didn't meet many requirements, repairs were also probably going to be more expensive than the wroth of the building already. In the end the boys practiced at a YMCA and played their games in the middle school gym. The positivity and hope of them team is what truly made them so inspirational to so many people and shows how a real group of athletes should be.

  • jordanr1-pay
    3/27/2017 - 11:15 a.m.

    It will take some time and even more money for it to be repaired. They funded the team and the area may get money if they win states.

  • makilahs-pay
    3/28/2017 - 07:12 p.m.

    The building was condemned rather than repaired because in West Virginia,last June around 1,200 people was suffering and trying to recover from the Elk River flood that rose 10 feet high. Because of the flood in Charleston, many building were badly damaged which resulted in furniture being rotten, and homes not being safe to live in.This is why repairing was not an option, resulting to condemning the building was the only solution.

  • kaileew-ste
    3/31/2017 - 01:07 p.m.

    A West Virginia school district was destroyed by a flood. This didn't stop there basketball team, however. They ended up making it to the state tournament. This is really impressive and inspiring.

  • jordanc-pay
    4/03/2017 - 12:22 p.m.

    because repairing the building would cost way mar money than just building a whole new one

  • jaylinw-bur
    5/03/2017 - 07:36 p.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.

    their team is good and hard working

  • ThomasB-lam
    10/26/2018 - 02:32 p.m.

    The odds were against them I feel so bad for the boys from Virginia. Floods like that seems to rarely happen and I love it when it doesn't happen where I live. But i'm so glad the boys went to the tournament. They had to play and practice in two different places, a YMCA in Charleston and a middle school where they played their games. They defied their odds and worked hard I have respect for those people!

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