SALYERSVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - The tornado outbreak of March 2, 2012, devastated thousands of people in Eastern Kentucky, but it also paved the way for stories of inspiration to rise from the rubble.
For high school basketball players in Kentucky, winning a regional championship is a big deal.
But the circumstances surrounding the Magoffin County Lady Hornets when they won the 15th region in 2012 make the title even more memorable.
Now they have even more hardware to show for it. The National Federation of State High School Associations presented the Lady Hornets with the Spirit of Sport award this week in Denver.
"Getting the award was really cool. It was on a big stage and it was decorated like the mountains. There was like 800 something people there so it was nerve wracking but other than that a lot of fun." Haley Skaggs, a former Lady Hornet, said.
"The experience was amazing and I got to see things I'll probably never get to see again in my life. I'm just really grateful for the entire experience." Former Lady Hornet Morgan Connelley said.
The Lady Hornets won the 15th region tournament three days after their home county was ripped apart by the tornado.
"We were all very upset over what had happened but we knew we had to play this game. We couldn't reschedule it for a few more weeks, it had to be done. We overcame and played together and gave Magoffin County something to be happy about." Morgan Arnett, another former Lady Hornet, told WYMT's Tanner Hesterberg.
All three girls say the thing they remember the most is giving the people of Magoffin County something to hope for in a time when hope was hard to come by.
Logan County high school received the same award this week.
Members of the school cheered for Magoffin County at the state tournament when many of the lady hornets fans were unable to make it because of the tornado.