Wolves Visit Brooklyn After Keeping Close Watch On Superstorm Sandy's Path

Editor's Note: CLICK HERE to donate to the American Red Cross Hurricane Relief Fund to help those affected by Superstorm Sandy receive food, shelter, emotional support and additional assistance.

Mark Remme
Wolves Editor/Writer

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Timberwolves forward Dante Cunningham paid extra attention to Superstorm Sandy as it made landfall on the East Coast last week. The devastation hit close to home.

Cunningham’s mother lives in southern Maryland, his sister in Baltimore and his dad in Virginia. And having played his college ball at Villanova in Philadelphia, Cunningham spent summers going to beaches up and down the Atlantic coastline that began popping up on the news as the storm moved inland.

“I was calling them every 30 seconds to figure out what’s going on and to make sure they’re OK,” Cunningham said. “They said they had a lot of rain, just a lot of water out their way. Not too much flooding, but luckily my mom lives up on a hill and the back side of the house flows down into a lake, so it really wasn’t too bad for us.”

Thoughts across the NBA were sent toward those affected by the storm, which stretched 900 miles wide, left millions without power and more than 100 killed in the eight states along the eastern seaboard. New York City was one of the areas that withstood the greatest impact of the storm, and that’s where the Timberwolves will be tonight when they take on the Brooklyn Nets.

Sandy shut down the city’s subway system and left 2 million people without power, according to a CBSNews.com report. The home opener at the Barclays Center between the Nets and Knicks was postponed last week due to the storm, making tonight’s matchup the second Nets home game at the Barclays Center.

The NBA and NBA Cares invite fans to support the American Red Cross and their responses to Superstorm Sandy by donating to the American Red Cross Hurricane Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and additional assistance in response to Superstorm Sandy.

Cunningham wasn’t the only Timberwolves player with a close eye on the storm. Center Greg Stiemsma, who spent last season with the Celtics, has friends in Boston and made sure to keep track of what was happening out east. Lou Amundson has friends in New York City and was in contact with them throughout the past week.

“They kind of gave me the inside scoop,” Amundson said. “Anytime there is a tragedy or devastation or natural disaster, you feel for the victims. It’s going to be a long rebuilding process over there, but I think if anyone can do it, it’s New Yorkers.”

The Wolves said when games are played under these circumstances, it makes the evening more than just a game. When tipoff comes around, both teams will be focused on the win. But it’s also about helping those affected by the storm focus on the entertainment side of basketball—if only for two or three hours.

“Any time you can kind of help people get their mind of things for a while,” Stiemsma said. “It’s not necessarily going to solve things, or I don’t know if we’ll have too much of an effect, but anything that can be a little release and can get people’s minds off such a serious subjects for a while, we’re more than happy to be that entertainment.”

Cunningham said he feels for all the families affected by the storm. Seeing those photos from friends with streets under water makes it hit close to home.

“That’s a tough thing to swallow,” Cunningham said. “And anything I can do to help I’d definitely lend a hand.”

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