Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Mark Cuban offers help to A&M's Derrick Roland
By Diamond Leung
At last count, nearly 900 Facebook users have joined the group, "We Love Derrick Roland #3," which was created by a Texas A&M student.
It's definitely not only the Aggie community that is offering its support for Roland, who underwent surgery earlier this morning after suffering a gruesome, Joe Theismannesque compound fracture of his right leg in Tuesday night's loss at Washington.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban even offered to pay for a private plane to fly Roland's aunt to Seattle, according to team spokesman Colin Killian.
"He wanted his staff to find out out how much it would cost," Killian said.
Roland's aunt had already arranged for transportation, but that people from all over the basketball community reached out to the senior guard has not gone unnoticed by Texas A&M.
Aggies assistant coach Scott Spinelli told reporters that the team's trainer "almost passed out looking at the injury." But Huskies trainers were there to provide assistance along with team doctors that came out of the stands at Bank of American Arena.
Harborview Medical Center, where Roland could be released from before Saturday, offers a way on its Web site to e-mail patients, and received upwards of 700 of them from fans.
"They finally had to tell people to keep from flooding their system," said Killian, who noted fans are now turning to Roland's Twitter account.
The Washington athletic department also blogged the address where Huskies fans can send well wishes.
And as it turns out, Roland might have even had a Washington-area fan in the operating room with him. According to Killian, one of the doctors prior to performing the surgery had something to tell Roland.
Yep, the doctor was an Aggie.
"(Roland's) face lit up," Killian said. "It put him at ease."
Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon stayed with Roland the whole way through, and Washington coach Lorenzo Romar, whose players tweeted their prayers to Roland last night, also took time this afternoon to visit with the player.
"I think it’s fantastic that our fans can separate the competition side from the humanity side," Romar said in a statement. "This game is very small when you look at it from the perspective of what happened last night and the overwhelming support and well-wishes from our supporters is amazing.
"I got a chance to meet with Derrick Roland and his buddy from all the way back in the eighth grade Donald Sloan. He is an outstanding young man and is doing about as well as can be expected. Those are two quality guys and it sounds like Derrick will be able to play again.
"I know I will always be pulling for him and rooting for him in whatever he does in the future and am sure Husky fans feel the same way."