It has been just over a month since Hurricane Sandy left a number of cities, states and countries in shock and devastation. And with the storm taking place so close to the start of the NBA season, for Sebastian Telfair, this past weekend’s stop in New York marked the guard’s first visit to the Big Apple since Sandy took place.
Growing up in Brooklyn, Telfair said he had heard warnings of ensuing hurricanes in the past, but learned after a while that they generally didn’t amount to much more than warnings. An example of this took place just a year ago, when Hurricane Irene caused several New Yorkers to unnecessarily evacuate their homes. But when it came to Sandy, however, Telfair says he knew fairly quickly that this time would be different.
“When I was a kid, there were always threats of hurricanes, but you’d prepare for them and they’d end up just being a bad storm,” Telfair told Suns.com
Coney Island – a beach, amusement park and home for several Brooklynites – was among the areas hit the hardest by Sandy thanks to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. Telfair, a native of this area, said he finds the amount of devastation that has taken place there both shocking and saddening.
“To see the boardwalk ripped up and the amusement park rides torn down… I’m still kind of in shock,” Telfair said. “My entire family still lives in Coney Island. They were able to get out of town, but there are people who are still struggling there, and to me, if you’re a friend then you’re family. So it’s been tough seeing people struggling with this.”
Relief is a continuing effort. In fact, during the cab ride to Suns practice on Saturday afternoon, I even watched as the television inside aired a commercial that featured everyone from actor Al Pacino to former Suns forward and current Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire asking for assistance.
“A lot of people in New York are going to come through and help,” Telfair says of the effort. “When natural disasters happen anywhere in the world, the United States does what it can to help, and when it happens in our backyard, you’re hopefully going to see that same kind of effort.”
The NBA Cares initiative has teamed up with Red Cross to assist with this effort, and any donations whether they come via time, blood or financial are greatly appreciated.