Wildcats Attend Fort Riley's 9/11 Ceremonies
"We try to take every opportunity that we can to demonstrate to our young people what America is all about," said K-State basketball coach Frank Martin. "We want them to fully understand how privileged they are, not only to live in a country where they have rights and freedoms, but we want to introduce them to what other people do that helps them have a career as a college basketball player. If we're not reminded how lucky we are from time to time, we can start taking some things for granted." During the 90-minute morning visit, the players and coaching staff viewed a Twin Towers monument that has the names of every soldier who has lost his or her life since 9/11, plus there was time for the players to interact with wives and husbands of soldiers, plus their young children. "It's something our players want to do, and I think something the families really appreciate," said Martin. Especially for a pair of New Yorkers, the day on base and 9/11 carried a special significance. "It really was a beautiful ceremony and the monuments they have at Fort Riley are very touching," said Jordan Henriquez-Roberts, who said his grandmother had close friends who died in the collapse of the Twin Towers. "I was only in middle school at the time, but I remember the day vividly. I remember how my mother called the school and picked me up immediately because she was so afraid. We watched TV together for the rest of the day." While Henriquez-Roberts was on Long Island, roughly an hour away from the Twin Towers, current teammate Curtis Kelly was in the Bronx. "I remember being able to see all the smoke ... all that smoke," said Kelly, who remembers getting out of school early and going to his aunt's home. "I didn't personally know anyone who lost their life, but I don't know of a person in New York City who at least had a friend who knew someone that died." Martin was an assistant coach at Northeastern University in Boston, Mass., in 2001, and as he remembers, "I was running on a treadmill in Atlanta, Ga., where I was on a recruiting trip when I first learned of the attack." With all flights cancelled, Martin says he rented a car the next day and drove back to Boston. ARROWHEAD FESTIVITIES: K-State fans are invited to the K-State Alumni Association pregame event at Arrowhead Stadium Saturday prior to the game with Iowa State. On hand will be K-State President Kirk Schulz, athletics director John Currie and Alumni Association President Amy Button Renz. Oh yes, also attending will be Willie, the Kansas State cheerleaders and the marching band. Festivities begin at 7 a.m., with speeches taking place at 9 a.m., prior to the 11 a.m. kickoff. The event will take place at Arrowhead Pavilion at Arrowhead Stadium. A la carte breakfast and lunch items will be available for purchase inside. Beer, wine, mixed drinks, soda and bottled water also will be available for purchase. The cost is $5 per person, but free for those 18 and under. Reservations are not required. Information on the Wildcat Pregame event at Arrowhead Stadium and other K-State gathering spots in Kansas City can be found at www.k-state.com/arrowheadpregame. DIRECTIONS TO ARROWHEAD: K-State fans are encouraged to use I-435 and enter Arrowhead Stadium's west parking lots. Fans are asked to enter through Gates 5 or 6 and use parking lots F, G, H, J and N. To avoid construction on the Kansas Turnpike between mile markers 204-209 at Lawrence, fans driving from west may want to exit at the Lecompton/K-10 Exit (Plaza 197) onto K-10. Stay on K-10 eastbound until it merges onto I-435 in Lenexa. Follow I-435 into Missouri, then north to Exit 63C, the Sports Complex Exit. Use the Stadium Drive ramp to access Gates 5 and 6. Lots will open at 7 a.m., and parking fees are $25. We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact either Mark Janssen at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Kansas State Director of Athletic Communications/SID Kenny Lannou at email@example.com.