To see the Texas Longhorns face off against the Texas A&M Aggies on the basketball court is a rarity these days. That’s exactly what happened in Houston on Wednesday night, as the teams played an exhibition game to raise money for victims of Hurricane Harvey.
The game was played at neutral Rice University, with ticket proceeds benefiting the Rebuild Texas fund.
“This is the latest example of how Texans respond to a challenge,” Gov. Greg Abbott said prior to tip-off.
Much of the fund, which has surpassed $78 million, has yet to be distributed to those affected by the storm. Abbott said there was “good progress being made with regard to accessing the resources that we need to rebuild,” when asked if he was satisfied with the process of getting victims the help they need two months after the storm made landfall.
“We’re Texans. We always want it done a whole lot faster, we always want a whole lot more,” he continued.
Kerry Goebel’s home in Friendswood flooded during Harvey. He said his cars were destroyed and his four kids live with him in a camper for the time being.
“The house had two feet of water in it,” the Longhorns fan said. But, he was committed to attend the game to help others who need it. “It’s for a good cause and it’s always good to see the Horns play,” he explained with a smile.
Other attendees, including Aggies fan Jeff Miller, made it through the hurricane without a scratch.
“We didn’t get any damage but I know a lot of people that did,” Miller said, adding that he was excited to watch both teams take to the court in this exhibition game.
Players and coaches agreed that the match-up was fierce on the court, but meant more to the people it will help.
“This is a great event, and a great opportunity to help some other people — and also play a lot of guys,” Texas A&M men’s basketball coach Bill Kennedy said.
Longhorns guard Kerwin Roach II said the hurricane affected “a lot of people,” and that this game was “one way to relieve all that.”
“There’s a lot of families out there that was affected by the storm, including mine, so this game means a lot. It’s more than basketball,” he said after the game.
Abbott said he met with President Donald Trump in Dallas on Wednesday, providing an update on the recovery effort, and work to prevent future flooding. He said he planned to travel to Washington, D.C. next week to meet with members of Congress to explain Texas’ funding needs.
UT defeated A&M by a final score of 73-69.