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After tragedy, this Virginia coach wants to help his town heal and hope again.

Rebecca Angel Baer
August 16, 2017

In the South, the end of August brings summer to a close and sparks the excitement of starting a new school year. For college students, this is an extra special time that means reuniting with friends you’ve missed all summer or for freshmen, it’s the start of a brand new adventure, in a brand new place.

But for students headed to the University of Virginia, the tragic events of this past weekend have darkened the mood. For the freshmen, away from home for the very first time, it’s easy to see how the violence and tension in their new town might add to their existing anxiety about leaving home.

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UVA’s Men’s Basketball Coach, Tony Bennett, took to Twitter on August 15th, to directly address the grief the community feels as well as offer a message of hope.

“I’m deeply troubled and by what’s taken place in Charlottesville over the last few days but I love this community. I love the people of Charlottesville, the town, the University of Virginia and what it stands for,” Bennett said.

Bennett went on to speak passionately about the town he’s called home for the last 8 years and where he’s chosen to raise his family. He is also looking forward.

“I don’t have all the answers but I know that from all that’s gone on in these past few days, I pray that our program, when the young men come back to school, and us as coaches and the people here can provide some source of encouragement and hope.”

“This is a place that so many of us hold dear to our hearts and we want to represent Charlottesville and the University of Virginia in the right manner. And make a difference and bring hope and healing where it absolutely needs to be.”

See Coach Bennett’s full message below.