If you’ve been on a plane before, you’ve likely experienced some turbulence that was less than comfortable. That’s nothing compared to what happened to the Butler men’s basketball team on Thursday night.
Butler basketball coach Chris Holtmann detailed the incident to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, and it’s frightening:
Butler was flying from New York’s LaGuardia Airport to Indianapolis after Thursday’s 76-73 loss to St. John’s. About 25 minutes into the flight, the cabin lights went out, Bulldogs coach Chris Holtmann told ESPN.
“It started to get really cold, and the plane went completely dark,” Holtmann told ESPN. “Then all the oxygen masks came flying down, and the flight attendant told everyone to put the masks on. She kept repeating it.
“We had a really rapid descent. In the span of 10 or 12 minutes, we went from 35,000 feet to 10,000 feet.”
This went on for some time, in fact, before the plane was able to land in Pittsburgh.
Holtmann said he heard players yelling in panic from the back of the plane and that staff members were texting their wives.
“As a coach, you are obviously thinking of your family,” Holtmann said. “But you are also thinking about all the young men on the plane.
“I was shook. It was scary, we had guys crying.”
Holtmann said they used the oxygen masks for about 15 minutes. He said the pilot told him “that was some of the longest minutes of my life.”
Thankfully everything ended up okay for the Butler squad, aside from the team being forced to take a bus from Pittsburgh back to Indianapolis. We sadly don’t have to look back very far at all to be reminded of the dangers of air travel in the sp0rting world.
It can’t be easy to get back to basketball after an incident like that, but the Bulldogs host Providence on Sunday, so they’re going to have to figure out a way to do just that.