Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Something For Louisiana To Cheer For

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- In Louisiana, where people are still cleaning up from hurricanes Katrina and Rita, where travel trailers are luxury housing and debris is still being removed from streets, a fresh wind blew through the destruction this week.

Thanks to the LSU men's and women's basketball teams earning berths in the NCAA tournament Final Four, talk turned, at least briefly, from rebuilding to rebounding.

"I just wanted to tell the team that what they're doing is really uplifting Louisiana," said Gov. Kathleen Blanco, who met with the men's team Monday. "We've been through a lot of really difficult and dark days. We all need some relief, and the spirit that they project has given us a real lift."

Read the article at The Advocate.

And this made the CBS Evening News the other night:

(CBS) Even in this bracket-busting tournament of Cinderella stories, it isn't hard to spot the team from Louisiana.

Not when your center is Glen Davis, a six-foot-nine 310-pound wrecking ball nicknamed "Big Baby," CBS News correspondent Jim Acosta reports.

"It gives everybody a good feeling," Davis said. "I got to go cut the nets down right quick."

The Tigers have done more than just win basketball games. They're giving their hard-luck home state a time out from reality.

"I thought I was at home for a moment. I forgot about the trailer park," Al Young told Acosta.

And home is at the heart of this team. Nearly all of the players grew up around Baton Rouge.

"These are crawfish down here in Baton Rouge, La.," a teammember said.

They know how to eat crawfish. And they also feel the state's heartache. After Katrina, they showed up at this campus arena after it was turned into a medical facility.

"Our players volunteered and stayed up half the nights setting up cots and doing whatever was necessary," said John Brady, LSU's head coach.

Times like that don't make basketball players. They make men. But Katrina wasn't the first challenge for this team.

Read the article at CBS News.

Nice to see something positive from the media every once and awhile!

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