In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the Houston community rallied together in support of each other, and the Astros rode that good karma on the way to the team’s first World Series. After another painful blow to the Houston area, the Rockets are doing their part to help heal the community as well.
Owner Tilman Fertitta is offering the senior class of Santa Fe High School, where 10 students and teachers were killed last week in another horrific incidence of gun violence at an American school, free tickets to Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. All 300 of them. From KPRC2:
”I have roots in Galveston County. Everybody knows that. I played on that football field before in Santa Fe,” Fertitta said. “We just wanted to step up and I talked to Tad (Brown) and said, ‘Hey, we need to find 300 tickets for the Santa Fe High School seniors on Thursday.’”
The school sent a letter to seniors Tuesday about Fertitta’s invitation.
The letter said, “It is our hope at Santa Fe High School that this will provide our graduating seniors with an evening to gather with friends who have reached the milestone of graduating together.”
”We’re going to bring all the seniors out on the court and recognize them. There’s gonna be a tribute video to the deceased, and we’re going to bring some of the first responders out, and just make it a special night,” Fertitta said. “We’re just trying to do our little bit that’s all. Just trying to make a special day where 30 years from now they think about going to that Western Conference final game instead of what they had to go through their last few days of being a senior.”
ESPN reports that the Rockets will play a special video tribute for the students in attendance. Game 5 Thursday night will be the first home game the Rockets have played since the shooting. Say what you want about the way the front office handles the ticketing at Toyota Center — we’ve said plenty — but this is an incredibly classy gesture, and one that makes me proud to root for this team.
Some things are bigger than basketball, but tragedies and trying moments have galvanized teams into special things before. It happened in New Orleans with the Saints after Katrina. It happened with the ‘Stros. Nothing brings people together like a winning team. Here’s hoping the Rockets can do just that with a pivotal win tomorrow night.