Rutgers, Seton Hall Basketball Coaches Persevere in Sandy's Aftermath

By Merlisa
Kim Klement-US Presswire

When chaos looms around you and millions remain without electricity, suddenly basketball games seem less significant.  But not insignificant.

Being able to focus on basketball is a welcomed distraction to Rutgers coach Mike Rice and Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard, both who suffered property damage in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

According to reports in, wind uprooted two 60-feet trees in Willard’s yard, with one crashing into his fence.  The Willards reportedly went three days without running water.

Rice’s home in Little Silver, NJ sustained water damage to his flooded basement.  Rice tweeted: “Worst night of my life”.

Still both men were back at work by Thursday preparing for their season openers.

“It was great to be back in the gym today. But still can’t believe the destruction I’m seeing in my neighborhood,” tweeted Rice.

Seton Hall cancelled its exhibition with FDU-Madison and Rice had to postpone his Tip-Off Dinner which benefits Coaches vs. Cancer.

“As much as we were all looking forward to this event, I believe it’s in the best interest of all parties to postpone,” said Rice in a statement issued Thursday. “Living in Little Silver, my family personally experienced some of the terrible effects of this storm. Our thoughts and prayers remain with all those affected. We are committed to Coaches vs. Cancer and will put together a dinner indicative of this tremendous cause later this season.”

Both schools have powered restored to their gyms.  Nearby Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City, hasn’t been as fortunate.  Like many Jersey residents ,Willard extended a helping hand and allowed Saint Peter’s to use Seton Hall’s gym.

Merlisa covers Georgetown and Big East basketball.  Follow her on Twitter: @merlisa.

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