Basketball team visiting Italy safe

ROME (CBS) — Members of the Bryant University men’s basketball team, visiting Italy for pre-season training, were shaken out of their beds during Wednesday morning’s deadly earthquake.

Assistant Coach Chris Burns tells WBZ NewsRadio 1030 that the team, out of Smithfield, Rhode Island, is safe.

“Last night, probably around 3:30 a.m., was when all of it really hit,” said Burns. “We felt the initial effects of the quake, so that was a little scary–but everything’s fine now.”

Burns said he and other members of the team woke to violent shaking.

“It woke myself and my roommate up out of a sound sleep, so it was pretty strong,” Burns said. “Our bed was pretty shaky. It almost felt like someone was at the end of it in the room shaking the mattress. The building felt like it was swaying back and forth a little bit. It was certainly very scary. It woke us right up.”

He said there was no damage to the building they were staying in, and the area where the team was staying was not hit hard.

“Everyone’s just fine,” Burns said. “We were actually able to get out this morning and do a little sight-seeing, we were able to get over to the Colosseum.”

Bryant University Head Basketball Coach Timothy O’Shea said a game scheduled for Wednesday in the town of Spoleto was cancelled due to the quake.

“Just grateful we are safe–tragic event for Italy,” O’Shea tweeted.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports


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