BENDIGO Spirit’s American import Kelsey Griffin has told of her heartbreak for the classmates and families of the victims of the American school massacre in the state where she has spent three seasons playing basketball.
Twenty-seven people, including 20 children, were killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in the small town of Newtown, Connecticut, early Saturday Australian time.
Griffin has spent the past three seasons playing in the WNBA with the Connecticut Sun – based 90 minutes from Newtown.
“It’s truly saddening what has happened and my heart goes out to the families and classmates, especially at this time of the year around Christmas,” Griffin said yesterday.
“Those kids would have already had presents under the tree that now won’t get opened, so it’s truly a tragedy and my prayers go out to the families and everyone affected by it.
“Connecticut is a really small state, so when something like this happens, it hits everybody really hard, regardless of how close you are to where it happened.
“It’s so unfortunate that in the United States, things like this are happening too much.”
Griffin learned of the tragedy via Twitter on Saturday morning.
“I was then able to see it on the news and watch President Obama’s speech when he addressed not only the country, but the world,” Griffin said.
“It’s just an absolute tragedy and when something like this happens, it definitely puts everything into perspective.
“Even though I’m a long way away from my family, the chance that I get to tell my family that I love them is a gift.”
While deeply saddened by the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, Griffin said that as a professional basketballer, she had to remain focused on yesterday’s game against Logan.
“To be a good professional basketballer, you need to be able to leave your life off the court, but also leave your basketball on the court and separate the two,” Griffin said.
“When I step onto the basketball court it’s all about basketball and whatever else is going on in my life, I have to just leave it and pick it back up in the locker room when I’m done with the game, so that’s what I plan to do.”