Thunder lend hand after Serbian earthquake

Nenad Krstic and the Oklahoma City Thunder are trying to bring

attention and some help to an area of Serbia hit by an earthquake

this week.

Krstic’s hometown of Kraljevo was at the center of a

5.3-magnitude earthquake Wednesday that left two people dead,

dozens more injured and thousands of houses damaged.

”That’s my hometown,” said Krstic, the Thunder’s starting

center. ”My parents live there, my grandparents, my friends. When

I go in the summertime to Serbia, I spend some time over there. I

spend some time in Belgrade, but that’s my town.

”I’m really trying right now to help, and this is a great thing

that the organization did – and the people – and that’s a good

sign. It doesn’t matter how much money we can send. We can let

other people do the same thing.”

The Thunder matched donations from fans at Sunday night’s game

against the Boston Celtics and also raffled off an autographed

jersey that Krstic wore during the game. About $10,000 will be

donated to the International Red Cross for the relief effort.

”I’m really optimistic because there’s a lot of good people in

Serbia and in the world that can help and can rebuild,” Krstic

said. ”It’s not a lot of money you’re talking about. Even before,

there was really a small town and nothing really expensive. Just

build for the regular life.”

Krstic said his family made it through the earthquake unhurt but

he has been told people back home are still afraid of whether their

homes are safe if another quake happens. He said weaker earthquake

hit the area Saturday.

”Everybody’s asking themselves, `Why this now? In the whole

world, why here?’ We don’t have the history of earthquakes, but

it’s all right,” Krstic said. ”We’re going to get through

it.”