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May 22, 2013

From Durant to SaberCats, athletes pitching in for Moore relief

OU rowing team does its part

MOORE — Selfish, conceited, arrogant. These are just a few of the descriptions athletes are often tagged with.

However, it’s often in times of great need that athletes can have the greatest impact. That’s been the case in the response to the EF-5 tornado that struck Moore Monday.

The city has been inundated with volunteers and donations from across the nation, the benefactors of which have ranged from the state’s highest profile athletes to those at the high school level.

“It was devastating,” Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star Durant said. “A natural disaster isn’t something we can control at all … I call Oklahoma City my home now. It’s tough to go through. We are a city that comes together. We will bounce back from this. It’s tough right now, but the sun is going to shine soon.”

When the Red Cross announced Durant had donated $1 million to its Moore tornado relief fund through his family’s foundation, the most impressive part was that no one was surprised.

“It wasn’t about being the first one,” Durant said. “God told me to do something to help these families out and it was the first thing I thought of. I’m just trying to do anything I can to help. It’s such a tough situation.”

Durant’s teammates were doing their part also. Russell Westbrook, coach Scott Brooks and several other Thunder players met with families recovering from the tornado at OU Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City.

“It’s tough to come in here and be with the families when their child is in pain, but it’s also good to see them smile and have a sense of enjoyment after the disaster yesterday,” Westbrook said.

Kendrick Perkins and Thabo Sefalosha were helping take donations Tuesday in Oklahoma City. Fans who came through select donation spots and brought water, food and other items met the two teammates.

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