‘Colonels helping Colonels’: EKU men’s basketball welcomes team from La. that was displaced after Ida

Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 8:24 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) - Like countless other communities in Louisiana, the town of Thibodaux was turned upside down by Hurricane Ida, a place Nicholls State University calls home.

“To see the devastation of peoples property, to see their livelihoods and their way of life they care so much about being impacted in this way, it’s heartbreaking,” EKU Athletic Director Matt Roan said.

So when their men’s basketball program reached out to EKU for assistance, Roan said there was no hesitation to help.

“To be able to impact those young men on that team, to help a couple of coaches I know very well, yeah there was no question for us,” Roan said.

Roan called it “Colonels helping Colonels” as the two teams, which share a mascot, will now get to share a home.

“We wanted to roll out the red carpet so to speak. We wanted to give them the basketball, the housing, the dining, the athletic training, the sport performance,” Roan said. “All the resources they need to make their life as normal as it can possibly be in a very abnormal time.”

After leaving EKU in 2016, Roan spent three and a half years as Nicholls’ athletic director before returning to Richmond.

“It is a people and a place that will always be special to me,” Roan said.

Roan said they’re welcome to stay as long as they need to, but he’s confident the community will be back on its feet soon.

“If I know them the way that I think I know them, if I know the place the way that I think I know it, they are a resilient bunch. I have no doubt that they’ll rebuild, they’ll be stronger, they’ll be better because of this and what makes that place so great will continue to thrive,” Roan said.

Nicholls State recently said it would take 2-3 weeks for power to be restored.

The University Foundation has also established a relief fund.

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