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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Connecticut Sun pitch in for tornado victims

When the horrific images began to flash across the screen, Connecticut Sun general manager Chris Sienko knew the WNBA franchise needed to do something to help the tornado victims in Oklahoma.

So the decision was quickly reached to donate all the ticket proceeds for tonight's season opener against New York.

"I talked to Mitchell (Etess) on the phone and said 'hey listen we should probably do something for the folks out in Oklahoma,'" Sienko said. "We had done this before for Hurricane Katrina so we thought it would be really good to do something. There are a lot of people who are in need and if we can help in our own little way that is a plus

"Fortunately our sales were good prior to Tuesday so once we announced it and got an immediate feedback from people who want to be involved and want to come to the game. They didn't even necessarily have to be fans, they wanted to try to support Oklahoma so we did that. Thanks to Mitchell and the tribe quickly approving it, that was something we could do.

"It is a small thing we can do. There are some athletes who are doing some tremendous things with a lot of money but what we can offer is what we can do and we are happy with any part we can give."

Like so many people, Sienko was stunned by the magnitude of the destruction.

"It is always scary," Sienko said. "It always hits me with children whether it is Newtown, Boston or anywhere else but when a child gets hurt or dies it just really hits home. It is the worst thing. You always go home and hug your own kids and hopes this never happens to them or people you know."

It is not just the Connecticut Sun front office stunned by the number of deaths when the tornadoes touched down. The players are also happy to have some part of raising money for the victims.

"I think the fact that we are going to be donating ticket sales to that is amazing," Walker said. "You never know when that could happen to you and something you can live for can be taken from you."

Sienko said that once the amount of money is raised that a check will be sent to the American Red Cross. There is a chance that a check could be presented at an upcoming game but Sienko said he doesn't want it to look like a publicity stunt so perhaps a check will just be sent without a public ceremony.

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