The Notre Dame women’s basketball team had its flight diverted to Lawton, Oklahoma, Wednesday because of storms and tornadoes in the Oklahoma City area.
Tornadoes in Tulsa killed one person and injured several others. A small tornado also swept across parts of Moore, an Oklahoma City suburb where seven school children were among 24 people who died in a top-of-the-scale EF5 tornado in 2013.
”We’re all safe and sound and everyone’s in good spirits. We’re just trying to adjust on the fly, finding a way to feed everyone and get our buses down here to take us back to Oklahoma City,” said Irish coach Muffet McGraw. ”We’re more concerned about all those families and residents affected by the tornadoes throughout the plains, particularly in Oklahoma. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of them right now.”
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The flight from South Bend, Indiana, to Oklahoma City usually takes just under 2 hours. Now, the Irish will ride a bus the 100 miles from Lawton to Oklahoma City where they face Stanford in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 on Friday night. They beat Montana and DePaul over the weekend to advance to the Sweet 16.
Notre Dame associate media relations director Chris Masters tweeted photos of the team hanging out at the airport and eating pizza.
The Irish were the only team playing in Oklahoma City with major travel issues. Stanford and Iowa had landed earlier in the day. Baylor’s plane was slightly delayed, but the Lady Bears landed Wednesday night.