Winthrop University basketball honors Sandy Hook tragedy - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Winthrop University basketball honors Sandy Hook tragedy

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ROCK HILL, S.C. (WHDH) - At first glance it's hard to imagine that there would be any connection between the tragedy at Newtown and Winthrop University.

But look closer. The names on the back of the players’ jerseys aren't their own.

They are the victims all 20 children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary.

"I have a daughter, so I couldn't imagine going through that and they are so strong I’m just thankful that they let me wear his name on the back of my jersey,” said Joab Jerome, Winthrop University senior.

The name on the back of his jersey belongs to Chase Kowalski who was just seven when he was killed.

"To just have people come and tell us how much it meant to them for us to be here it helps in our healing process,” said Rebecca Kowalski, Chase’s mother.

The Kowalski’s trip actually began a year ago when Winthrop head basketball coach Pat Kelsey made an impassioned plea a day after the tragedy.
The Kowalskis heard about it and tracked him down.

"They reached out a phone call that I’ll never forget,” said Kelsey.

The coach and the kowalskis have been corresponding ever since.

Being honored before the game is something the family will never forget.

But every minute these players were on the court their jerseys served as a reminder of the toughest goodbye imaginable.

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