Just as tornado-ravaged Joplin, Mo. got a lift from Missouri playing a heartfelt exhibition game in town on Sunday, the day was also highlighted by a similar event going on in Minot, N.D. North Dakota played a charity exhibition game at Division II Minot State to help raise money for flood victims there from the devastation that occurred earlier this summer.
The trip to Minot for a game called "Flood Fight 2011" was part of a month-long fundraising drive. The game was televised, and a watch party was organized to keep the donations coming. T-shirts declaring "We Are One. We Are North Dakota" were sold as well as communities came together to help.
"This is a great team-building exercise for our guys to do something together in a non-basketball environment," North Dakota coach Brian Jones said in a statement. "The fact that it is service-oriented and a chance to help our neighbors out over in Minot makes it even more special."
From the Minot Daily News:
University of North Dakota guard Aaron Anderson's senses were bombarded Saturday when he assisted with cleaning up a Minot resident's home and witnessed first hand the aftermath of the flood.
Anderson saw "broken walls" and "water damage" everywhere when he entered the home and was left near speechless while viewing the devastation. Anderson could only articulate by saying it was "crazy."
UND coach Brian Jones agreed with his player's assessment.
"All the pictures you see on the Internet does it no justice," Jones said. "It just shows you the sheer power of what water can do. It looked like a war zone. Everything was just barren and battered with the 'I am coming back signs' still remaining in the home."
The final scores and outcomes of the exhibition games didn't matter much, as Missouri and North Dakota both defeated their Division II counterparts on Sunday. But the efforts of all the teams involved to help their communities should not be forgotten.