Tuesday’s mass shooting in Texas was particularly tough to stomach for Ime Udoka.
The Boston Celtics head coach spent over a decade of his life roughly 80 miles from Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and two teachers were killed by a gunman who entered Robb Elementary School. Furthermore, Udoka and his longtime partner, Nia Long, are the parents of a 10-year-old boy.
As such, Udoka’s heart was heavy as he addressed the tragedy Wednesday.
“Being in San Antonio for all those years — Uvalde is very close. You see the signs all the time, it’s a 60- to 75-minute drive away. Tragic situation, obviously, for that community and for our country in general,” Udoka told reporters, per a clip shared by NBC Sports Boston. “The first thing you think about as a father of a 10-year-old fourth-grader is getting those calls or that frantic news and just — unimaginable, honestly, to find yourself in that situation as a parent. Your heart goes out to the whole community, the country in general and the school. But it seems like these things continue to happen and not much of a wake-up call.
“Nothing really changes, so that’s the thing that stands out. What’s next? Things happened last week in Buffalo, this one yesterday. The first thing you think of as a parent, what’s going to happen? What’s going to change? That’s kind of the underlying theme. What’s going to happen? What’s going to change? As of now, not much changes due to these incidents. You start to look back at Sandy Hook, Columbine, all the incidents throughout my lifetime growing up and there has not been a ton of change with the rules and regulations of gun laws. So, tough situation overall and me being in that community in Sn Antonio, it kind of hit home to me.”
Udoka’s remarks were similar to those made Tuesday by fellow head coach Steve Kerr, who made an impassioned plea to the country before his Golden State Warriors took on the Dallas Mavericks in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals.