UK Men's Basketball

Ex-Cat Labissiere writes about disaster that changed his life

Kentucky forward Skal Labissiere, left, looks for an open teammate with pressure from Florida forward Kevarrius Hayes in the second half. The University of Kentucky hosted the University of Florida, Saturday, Feb. 06, 2016 at Rupp Arena in Lexington.
Kentucky forward Skal Labissiere, left, looks for an open teammate with pressure from Florida forward Kevarrius Hayes in the second half. The University of Kentucky hosted the University of Florida, Saturday, Feb. 06, 2016 at Rupp Arena in Lexington.

Former University of Kentucky basketball player Skal Labissiere, who is projected to be a lottery pick in Thursday night’s NBA Draft, says he learned to take nothing for granted after the earthquake in his native Haiti in 2010.

Labissiere detailed the story of the earthquake that left him unable to walk for two weeks in a post on The Players’ Tribune, a website created as a forum for athletes to tell stories in their own words.

The earthquake wrecked his parents’ home and turned out to be a major reason Labissiere came to the United States to pursue his future in basketball.

“I knew what it was right away,” Labissiere wrote of the earthquake. “We had had an earthquake back in 2004. It wasn’t a big one, but I recognized the shaking. So I ran from the bathroom straight to my mom. My brother did the same from where he was on the balcony. I got to her first. And just as my brother got to us, the house collapsed. The third-story floor fell from beneath us, and I remember seeing the light come in from outside as the walls and the roof broke apart. The whole thing sounded like thunder. Then everything went dark and silent.”

Click here to read Labissiere’s full account of the life-changing moment and the aftermath that ultimately led him to Kentucky.

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