Knoxville, (WVLT-TV), The Tornado destruction in Joplin
hits a little too close to home for new Tennessee
head basketball coach Cuonzo Martin.
Coach Martin was the guest of honor today at a
Big Orange Tip-Off Club reception and luncheon.
The club usually has this meeting once a week during the
regular season, but wanted to take the time to formally
welcome the coach to town.
And while Knoxville is his new home, the coach took time
Friday to reflect on the devastation which has taken place in
Joplin, Missouri which is near the city he has most recently called home.
Martin:"...I went home and my son had a father son event at his school in Springfield Missouri, like 50 minutes from Joplin Missouri, I witnessed some of the stuff and the aftermath stuff in the newspaper and how Springfield is kind of somber because of what took place and alot of people in Springfield are giving alot of support to the people in Joplin, it's a tough thing, it's a humbling thing to go through, it's a humbling thing to see, you just pray for those families."
Right now, the death toll there stands at 132, with at least 156 people still missing.
Martin says it's a situation which puts everything in the proper context:
Martin:"...I think what it does is maybe it was God's way of telling me to slow down a little bit enjoy the moment so to speak as you get to working and working and you understand that that's what life is really all about, we're trying to win games and be the best team in the country and all that, but i think you have to put things in perspective as well."
He also talked about his new home, Knoxville, and how he's looking forward to a productive summer and first season on the UT bench:
Martin:"...we feel good about the team we have coming in the guys we have coming in this fall, it's one of those deals where hopefully we have a great summer in the weight room in the strength and conditioning department guys getting bigger and stronger, that is very important for us, this is a great place to be and i plan on being here a long time."