THE POINT GUARD
nearly drowned in his own house.
The coach lost
guard spent five weeks in a cramped hotel room with no power or water.
Their leaky gym
had no heat.
And they almost
killed each other.
So you tell me:
How in the world did Ehret High win the Louisiana state basketball
think about where we started," says Ehret's coach, Allen Collins, "it's
nothing short of incredible."
started was in Marrero, La., 10 minutes from New Orleans, on Aug. 28, 2005, the
day Hurricane Katrina turned the whole area into a watery hell. "I was
afraid for my life," says Ehret guard Gary Davis, who was trapped for days
on the second floor of his house in New Orleans. "Choppers saw us and kept
going past. I just kept thinking about hoops. It was the only thing that made
Hoops? The gym at
Ehret High was a wreck. There would be no time for conditioning or
weightlifting. But Collins wanted to try to play anyway. "I made a
commitment to coach 'em, and I was gonna coach 'em," he says. Problem was,
only four of 'em were left. The rest of his team was scattered as far away as
He found a couple
of transfers and got the roster to six, but nearly every game was on the road.
The team didn't have a single home game until January. And since there was no
money in Ehret's budget for athletics, Collins couldn't even buy his kids
aftergame pizza. They made do with Salvation Army meals and cold MREs donated
by military personnel stationed at the school. "It's not like I could take
'em to McDonald's. All the McDonald's were closed," he says. Ehret even had
to withdraw from a Thanksgiving tournament. Couldn't afford a bus driver.