30 years ago a 13-year-old Tim Duncan survived Hurricane Hugo and that experience affected him deeply. That’s why Duncan felt compelled to step up for his home island of St. Croix after it was ravaged by a category 5 hurricane. Much like JJ Watt and James Harden did for Houston after Hurricane Harvey, Duncan is spearheading relief efforts in the small Caribbean islands.
When Tim was 13, St. Croix was almost entirely destroyed by Hurricane Hugo, which was only a category 4. 90 percent of the island’s buildings were completely destroyed and it left them with a total rebuild. Living through this hardship made Duncan realize how important it was for him to step up and help out after this powerful category 5 ripped through the Virgin Islands.
Duncan recalled the aftermath of Hugo to Anderson Cooper on CNN, talking about how his small island banded together to help one another and that was his motivation to help with this tragedy.
On Sept. 9, Duncan posted a story to the Player’s Tribune titled “Don’t Forget About the Islands,” where he said that he would donate $250,000 of his own money and pledged to match the first million donated to his Virgin Island Relief Fund. He then went on to describe his horrific experience with Hurricane Hugo as a child.
Duncan said, “Hugo hit at night. The first thing I remember is a loud boom from the windows blowing out of our house. My mother and sister burst into my bedroom and led me by the hand into another room. We spent the rest of the night sitting in a small bathroom, our eyes wide open. None of us could sleep. We heard the bangs and booms of debris. Once in a while, I’d peek down the hallway at my dad, who was watching our ceiling. One of the beams had a crack in it, and the crack slowly grew bigger throughout the night. I think my dad was praying.”
Already, Tim Duncan has raised over $2.4 million through his relief fund.
On Sept. 14, he and former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg visited the islands personally and held a joint press conference reiterating that the U.S would do everything they could to help in the aid efforts.
Tim Duncan has always stepped back and let others get all the attention, its just his personality, that is why this is so outside of his normal personality. He is doing a great thing in this time of tragedy.
After his initial show of support for the island, Duncan said that both FEMA and the US federal government have stepped up their efforts.
Tim Duncan has never been the trendsetter, he has always just sat back and done his job. Thankfully for the people of the Virgin Islands, Tim didn’t sit back this time, instead, he stepped up and did the right thing.
You da man Tim, thanks for being a great human being.