Support from opponents keeps game alive after basketball team burglarized during stop at Gateway Arch


ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) – An NCAA basketball team’s visit to St. Louis on Friday turned to heartbreak after their van was burglarized and gear and personal items stolen during a visit to the Gateway Arch.
However, that loss was turned into an excellent display of gamesmanship, as their opponents immediately went to work finding the players equipment to use so the match could go on.
The Anderson University Ravens were in town for the Webster Tip-Off Classic on Friday at Grants Gym. The team traveled from Indiana and stopped that afternoon at the Riverfront to take a picture with the Gateway Arch. They were away from their van, which was locked, for about 30 minutes. When they returned, their jerseys, gear and many personal items had been stolen.
A message to St. Louis Police seeking information sent Saturday afternoon was not immediately returned.
Jon Gin, the Ravens women’s basketball head coach, said the thieves took all the team’s backpacks with their jerseys and shoes. And what was supposed to be a fun time with many players seeing the iconic national monument for the first time turned quickly to disappointment.
“Most of our kids had never heard of it (the Arch), let alone seen it,” Gin said. “We stopped by for 30 minutes, and when we got back to our car, it had been broken into and all their backpacks were missing. Most of our jerseys were gone and shoes and stuff. So, it went from a really fun day to kind of a scary day.”
When the Webster University Gorloks learned about what happened, the team pulled together equipment at the last minute and gave it to the Ravens so the team could compete in the tournament that evening. Webster University Director of Athletics Scott Kilgallon said while the theft was unfortunate, it also resulted in a positive experience, as the players shed their differences to ensure the game would go on.
“Unfortunately, bad things happen, but, in this instance, what has come about is that it has been countered with very positive things,” Kilgallon said.
Anderson would go on to defeat Milwaukee School of Engineering 66-60 on Friday in what was the Ravens’ first game of the season. Anderson’s win came with them wearing the home jerseys of the Gorloks.
“We bonded together and tried to help each other out,” Gin said. “And Webster did a great job. They accommodated us and found us jerseys to wear. They went out of their way to try and find us shoes and stuff like that, so Webster’s been great.”
First Alert 4 spoke to Webster Head Women’s Basketball Coach Jordan Olufson just minutes before the Ravens played the Gorloks on Saturday afternoon in the tournament championship, where both teams would be wearing a Webster jersey.
“There’s so much planning that goes into going to a game on the road for a weekend,” Olufson said. “Any disruption or anything that would happen is hard. It throws everything off. Kudos to Anderson for being resilient.”
He said while the teams were competing, they were still together in the spirit of college athletics.
“Part of being intercollegiate in the NCAA is helping each other out,” Olufson said. “We are going to play each other at three, but at the end of the day we are all student-athletes and try to help each other out and make sure we have a positive environment.”
Webster University went on to win the tournament.
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