Team left Anchorage before quake, ready for game in Billings

Posted at 10:31 PM, Nov 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-01 00:33:08-05

The University of Alaska Anchorage men’s basketball team plays Saturday night against MSUB in Billings.

The team left aboard an Alaska Airlines flight at around 8:20 am Alaska Standard Time and the earthquake happened about five minutes after that.

The coaches and players did not hear about the earthquake until they landed in Seattle, three and half hours later.

The team had another stop in Portland and landed in Billings around 6:45 pm tonight.

The Seawolves quickly made it to Alterowitz Gym for a shoot around.

Coach Rusty Osborne said he’s not sure whether or not the school will be open next week, but players are studying for finals.

He said he and the team have received texts about the what happened in Anchorage.

They know their family and friends are alright, but they have heard about the damage, including on the Alaska Anchorage campus.

“We’re certainly grateful that nobody was injured, no lives were lost,” Osborne said. “Property can always be replaced and fixed.”

He said the team has gone with its routine for road trips.

“Sports can be a good distraction from things like these, not only for us, but possibly for people back home who are going through some tough times right now,” Osborne said. “Appreciate everybody’s thoughts and concerns. Heard from people here in Billings also.  We are one country that we all go through some tough times. It’s always nice to hear from our neighbors from other places and we look forward to having a good crowd (Saturday) night and hopefully we can have a good game with the Yellowjackets.”

Osborne said he’s only had time to text his family.

After Friday’s practice, his plan was to talk with his family on the phone.

Alaska Anchorage coach Rusty Osborne.