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. 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. 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

  • carterc-bla
    4/28/2017 - 10:31 a.m.

    I think that this was a great article. It was so inspiring with how that team banded together and played even though they were all going through tough times. It was also inspiring because the community helped them.

  • haydenb-bla
    4/28/2017 - 10:32 a.m.

    Summary: After the Elk River flooded, many people in the state were affected, including every player on the Herbert Hoover basketball team. The team struggled through their season with a losing record, but managed to clinch four wins in the post season. This was quite unexpected, as most people had their mind on flood repairs. It was noted that a lot of the players helped in efforts to clean up and rebuild after the devastating flood, which killed 23 people state wide. My opinion: I honestly think this story is inspiring. I say this because even though a major disaster occurred, a losing team managed to pull themselves into a positive position in a basketball tournament, and at the same time, help people outside of basketball rebuild.

  • kayleel-bla
    4/28/2017 - 12:07 p.m.

    The building was condemned and not repaired, because it was damaged to much and they did not have the money to repair it. The principal was one of the few people who walked in the hallways after the flood. I feel that the school should have done fund raisers to help with the money. They got a lot of donations to help with the uniforms and sports equipment. The kids did not complain about where they had to practice or where their games were. They just wanted to get into the tournament.

  • allisonw-bla
    4/29/2017 - 10:29 a.m.

    The building was condemned rather than repaired because there was so much damage that could not be fixed. "The Elk River rose 10 feet high in some buildings, destroying bridges and ripping homes from their foundations." That would be awful if that happened in our city, and for so many people that lost their lives I just feel so bad for them. Also, the building was condemned because it would be so expensive if they had to repair all that damage. I really like this story because it is so touching, and since they won the championship the players must have had a lot of courage and they must have been so brave to get though all the sadness.

  • Willr-dav1
    8/28/2017 - 09:17 a.m.

    In this Article it talk about a basketball team for Herbert High School commitment even when they are devastated by a terrible flood. Not only do they make to the state tournoment, they also make time to help the communinty. and all their work is paying off for them.

  • evanl-lew
    9/29/2017 - 12:49 p.m.

    I really like this passage. It is very interesting. It is crazy that they faced all of the adversity that was thrown at their face. I hope that the basketball team is still and good. I also hope that all the people in their little town are okay. This was a very fun passage.

  • bradena-lew
    9/29/2017 - 12:52 p.m.

    Very good detail to what happened.They made it to the state championship,but I would like to know if they won or not. So please make a article about the Hoover boys, and sorry for all the destruction that happened.

  • Justin-bla1
    10/19/2017 - 05:57 p.m.

    I'm very sad for the boy's basketball team who suffered the loss of their school. I am very happy for their basketball team making it to the state championship after a bad regular season with a losing record! They went on a four game win streak in their postseason! I'm glad they are still going on even though their school is condemned. I'm lastly glad that the Herbert Hoover High School students had found temporary homes and a temporary school. I especially hope that the basketball team wins the championship. I'm rooting for you! Go Huskies!

  • TristinD-kor
    10/26/2017 - 10:13 a.m.


  • lwhor-wim5
    10/27/2017 - 01:12 p.m.

    Its very sad that there school was destroyed. This shows you that you should never give up. Although they had a losing record they still fought for there school and there state.

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