Athletes offer support for those affected by the storm

The response from the sporting community in the wake of the destruction caused by Hurricane Dorian has been tremendous, as Bahamian athletes, former athletes and coaches, have been offering support and reaching out in support of the residents of Grand Bahama and Abaco. The powerful category five hurricane ravaged those two islands over the weekend and into Tuesday night.

Some of the Bahamian athletes who are off to school or playing professionally, and coaches in the United States, reached out on social media.

Grand Bahamian professional pitcher Tahnaj Thomas, who plays for the Bristol Pirates in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, posted videos and retweeted tweets that had people calling for rescue teams or people who were looking for their respective families.

When Abaco got hit on Sunday, Thomas tweeted: “Prayers up”. He continued reaching out throughout the storm, asking for help along with photographs and videos showing the magnitude of the damage caused by the hurricane.

On Tuesday he tweeted: “242 Strong” – a message that stresses the strength of the Bahamian people.

After hearing that the area that he grew up in was destroyed by the hurricane, Thomas replied to one of his friend’s tweets: “I feel this right here… place where I grew up.”

Thomas, like many, retweeted Bahamian National Basketball Association (NBA) player Chavano ‘Buddy’ Hield’s video appealing for assistance in rebuilding, restoring and renewing the places affected by Hurricane Dorian.

Another Grand Bahamian athlete, University of Houston track and field standout Brianne Bethel, like Thomas, used her Twitter account as a command center during hurricane.

On Sunday when Hurricane Dorian was pounding Abaco, Bethel tweeted: “God please protect The Bahamas.”

She tweeted the next day that she was appreciative of the prayers being sent up. Later that day, the Houston senior tweeted that she would rather be home with her family and that they will survive together.

The sprinter was very optimistic and tweeted The Bahamas’ national motto: “Forward, Upward, Onward, Together #Letsgetit”.

Franco Miller, another Grand Bahamian, is gearing up for the collegiate basketball season with the Ole Miss Rebels. He was also active on Twitter.

On Monday, Miller tweeted: “Being on the phone with the family right now, knowing I can’t be there to help if something go wrong hurts different.”

That tweet ended with a broken heart emoji.

The guard also retweeted Hield’s photo with the caption: “Please! Anything helps.”

He later found out that his family was safe.

Professional baseball player Todd Isaacs, who was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in 2015, signed and released, and signed with the Colorado Rockies in April of this year, tweeted: “This is absolutely terrifying! Praying for everyone on Grand Bahama!”

This season, in 35 games for the Grand Junction Rockies in the Pioneer League, the Bahamian outfielder batted 38-for-129, had two home-runs and scored 21 runs.

He was very active during the hurricane retweeting relief efforts and trying to lend a helping hand.

Yolett “Coach Yo” McPhee-McCuin, Head Coach of the Ole Miss Rebels women’s basketball team, and a native of Grand Bahama, set up a GoFundMe account. It is for hurricane relief in Grand Bahama and Abaco.

Along with her and Hield, Grand Bahamian Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) player Jonquel Jones also set up a GoFundMe account for hurricane relief to those two islands.

Bahamian Mychal Thompson, two-time NBA Champion with the Los Angeles Lakers, and former number one draft pick in the NBA, tweeted: “Dorian the Destroyer”. In the following tweet, he said he was thankful to the United States for helping The Bahamas with the recovery process.

Thompson gives back to The Bahamas every summer when he visits the annual Jeff Rodgers Basketball Camp.

Rick Fox, a three-time NBA Champion with the Lakers with Bahamian roots, was also on Twitter giving his support to The Bahamas. He retweeted various different relief efforts.

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Simba French

Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas. Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism

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