NORMAN — The sun came out Tuesday afternoon and Oklahoma could have practiced at L. Dale Mitchell Park. Its collective mind, however, was still a few miles to the north and the tornado damage in Moore.
“There’s been devastation. There’s been loss of life. There’s no baseball played that’s going to take the place of that,” OU coach Sunny Golloway said Tuesday. “There’s going to be funerals going on. There will be interviews of people who have lost their loved ones. We don’t know their faces or their names, yet, but those are the people who will be in front of the camera and it will be hard for all of us to see those people who have had loss of life.”
The Big 12 Conference postponed the Big 12 tournament at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City until Thursday and altered the format from double-elimination to pool-play so it could still conclude with a championship game Sunday afternoon.
The conference and Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett both believe the tournament will be a welcome distraction.
Golloway, however, wasn’t looking for a distraction Tuesday. He was in Moore Monday night right after the tornado hit. His oldest daughter lives there along with her husband and newborn son. Their home wasn’t damage by the tornado. Golloway said the path of wreckage stopped about two blocks away.
After checking on them, he went to the Warren Theater where a triage was being performed for storm victims.
“I drove over to help and realized they had so many people coming in. I went to the Warren Theater to see if I could help, and I realized I was just in the way,” Golloway said. “As I was leaving, I saw a lady, and she’s walking and she’s in her bare feet. Walking in about three inches of muck and nails. I pulled over and I said, ‘Ma’am, let me give you a ride.’
“Her daughter had just had a baby at the Moore Medical Clinic, right next to the Warren. They had to transport her daughter and the baby and her son-in-law. Her daughter was on a gurney and didn’t have on any shoes, so she gave her shoes to her daughter, to get to the ambulance, wanting her to be safe.
“She had another daughter, three grandchildren, her husband and another son-in-law pile in my truck and in my back seat. I was just thankful to give them a ride from the Warren Theater to Norman Regional Hospital, where her daughter had been transferred.”
The only thing Golloway wanted to do Tuesday was talk to his team. Baseball wasn’t the major topic.
“I just think, having been there and helped yesterday,” he said, “there’s a little different perspective.”
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