Oklahoma tornadoes: Former NBA stars Otis Birdsong, Micheal Ray Richardson host camp for tornado victims

About 50 students from Briarwood and Plaza Towers elementary schools participated in the camp at Moore High School with former NBA All-Stars Otis Birdsong, Micheal Ray Richardson and University of Tulsa coach Danny Manning, among others.
By SEAN MURPHY, Associated Press Published: June 13, 2013
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photo - Current University of Tulsa basketball players lead drills as former NBA All-Stars Danny Manning, Otis Birdsong and Michael Ray Richardson host a basketball clinic for tornado victims on Thursday, June 13, 2013 in Moore, Okla.  Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
Current University of Tulsa basketball players lead drills as former NBA All-Stars Danny Manning, Otis Birdsong and Michael Ray Richardson host a basketball clinic for tornado victims on Thursday, June 13, 2013 in Moore, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

— Students whose elementary schools were destroyed when a May 20 tornado ripped through Moore had a chance to hone their basketball skills Thursday with several former NBA greats.

About 50 students from Briarwood and Plaza Towers elementary schools participated in the camp at Moore High School with former NBA All-Stars Otis Birdsong, Micheal Ray Richardson and University of Tulsa coach Danny Manning, among others.

Richardson, a four-time All-Star with the New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets in the 1980s, said he felt compelled to participate after seeing the devastation in Moore.

“It was devastating just to watch it,” said Richardson, who lives in Lawton. “And to know there were kids who didn't make it … I just thought if there's anything I can do to help, I'm going to do it.”

The May 20 tornado killed 24 people, including 10 children, and injured more than 300. Seven of the children who died were crushed when the tornado slammed into the Plaza Towers Elementary School.

Rick Gallant, whose home was damaged in the tornado, said he brought his two sons to the camp to give them something fun to do and take their mind off the devastation of the tornado.

“We had a vacation planned this week, and we didn't go,” Gallant said. “We've got too much work to do with the house.”



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