DENVER - While Denver Pioneers men’s basketball head coach Joe Scott took to the podium for the team’s annual media day on Tuesday, something seemed a little off with the Pioneers’ normally upbeat and energetic coach. The sixth-year head coach seemed significantly lower key than usual.
And indeed, Scott had plenty of reason to not be his normal self on Tuesday.
Scott, a native of Pelican Island, N.J., had his childhood home flooded by the storm surge from Hurricane Sandy, he said after his press conference on Tuesday afternoon. Scott’s family also had three cars destroyed by the flood waters and his home had been without power for over a day, with potentially no relief in the near future.
“Everybody’s fine and ok,” Scott said at his press conference on Tuesday. “But I still have some people there that are stuck, and I don’t think they are going to be getting un-stuck anytime soon. So it’s a matter of just hoping for some good luck.”
Fortunately, Scott’s mother, who rode out the storm in Pelican Island, was fine, as was another family member who was in the home at the time as well. But it may be several days until they will be able to be reached as Pelican Island is in one of the worst-hit areas of New Jersey.
Pelican Island is a barrier island just off of the coast of southeastern New Jersey, only a few miles north of where Sandy made landfall on Monday evening. Scott said his mother had been without electricity for 28 hours, and they weren’t expecting to have power restored anytime soon.
In addition to Scott’s worries at his New Jersey home, DU opens their regular season on November 9 at Iona College. However, Iona is in New Rochelle, N.Y., a coastal suburb just north of New York City, and Scott hinted that there might be a chance that the game could be in jeopardy due to the storm.
But even with plenty weighing on his mind, Scott was seen clapping and yelling at practice on Tuesday afternoon, and he said that basketball could help offer a solution to the disaster caused by the record-setting storm.
“I think everybody’s ok so far,” Scott said. “Worst (storm) ever, I know that. We’ve never seen anything like it and maybe basketball and practice here will take my mind off it.”