Tulane basketball team traveling in Barcelona during terror attack
NEW ORLEANS, LA. - All members of the Tulane Men’s Basketball team who were traveling in Spain are accounted for after a deadly terror attack in Barcelona Thursday.
Tulane’s public relations director Mike Strecker said the team played a basketball game in Barcelona Wednesday night. The team has been in Spain since Aug. 9 and expected to leave Saturday.
While shopping for his family, Jason Gray, Assistant Provost of Compliance at Tulane, heard the sirens, but could not fathom the carnage taking place just minutes away.
"I myself was about two blocks off of that street," Gray said, "Our athletic director called me wanting to know if everybody was safe."
Everyone associated with @GreenWaveMBB is safe and accounted for in Barcelona today after an incident involving a van injuring pedestrians.— Troy Dannen (@TU_Dannen) August 17, 2017
A white van mounted a sidewalk and struck several people in Barcelona’s Las Ramblas district – a popular tourist spot- Thursday. Police say the crash is “most likely” a terror attack.
Gray and the Tulane Basketball team are in Barcelona for a tournament. After receiving that call, Gray headed straight towards his hotel.
"I'll tell ya, as an administrator here I was until I heard that we had everybody. Just becasue you know, that's the parent in me. You know, I have children myself so I was scared until I got word back that all 30 people were accounted for," Gray said.
Police in the northern Spanish city say a white van jumped onto the sidewalk, hitting pedestrians and killed at least 13 people, injuring more than 100 others.
It's the latest in a series of terror attacks involving vehicles worldwide.
In June, a van crashed into a crowd of people on the London Bridge. After hitting innocent bystanders, the attackers barged into a pub, stabbing innocent customers. 8 died. Nearly 50 people were injured.
On July 14, 2016 in Nice, France a large cargo truck plowed into a large group, killing nearly 90 people and leaving nearly 500 people hurt.
"You hear all of these news stories about people just getting in their cars being run over. It's just. It's just terrible," Mandeville resident and Loyola student Blake Powers said.
"There's not really a good answer on how to combat it," New Orleans resident David Benedict said.
On Tulane's campus Thursday, word spread quickly about the basketball team.
"I'm just really happy that everyone's safe. You know, from Tulane...But the families...my heart goes out to them," Powers said.
"You always worry about your loved ones and friends and family and it's very scary to think about people getting hurt in that kind of way," New Orleans resident Christoper Chambers-Ju said.
Powers wants to study abroad.
"Going out of the country, it can be kind of scary now, but, you know, I'm just trying to live my life and I hope that I would never be in the situation that those people in and their families," Powers said.
The team plans on playing another game Friday. They will play to win, refusing to let terrorist do so.
"We're not going to let what happened today take away from the rest of the trip and everything we experienced so far," Gray said.