Even at the NCAA Tournament, there was talk about Wednesday’s nationwide student walkout in protest of gun violence. At a prepractice news conference at American Airlines Center, University of Miami players Lonnie Walker IV, Chris Lykes and Ja’Quan Newton were asked how the Parkland shooting affected them and if they had any thoughts on gun control.
“It was definitely a difficult time for me because I have a couple of friends who had family and friends that went to that school [Marjory Stoneman Douglas High],” Walker said. “Seeing the people upset and crying, it definitely impacts you in a personal way. Just knowing it can happen at any moment, you just being at the wrong place at the wrong time, and that’s the end of your life.
“Most of those kids went to that school not expecting that to be their last day living. They went to that school to get educated, be knowledgeable and look forward to their future lives, so the fact that they got their lives taken away too quickly is very sad. This national walk, we have to take this seriously because Lord knows what could happen next. It’s all about how we want to make a change.”
Newton recalled how the Canes wore Douglas T-shirts for warmups in the game following the shooting. “It was an hour away from us, so it impacted us a lot. It’s something I think should be handled in a very, very calm way by the government.”
Lykes, a freshman, added: “It’s a national problem we have. It makes me understand that your life can be taken at any moment. I respect the situation I have with the security we have on campus, and I think we do definitely need to make this an important issue worldwide. We’ve got to do something about this. We need to continue our focus towards that.”
The sixth-seeded Hurricanes (22-9) play No. 11 seed Loyola-Chicago (28-5) on Thursday at 3:10 p.m. (truTV).