Like every other segment of American society, many college basketball coaches had personal connections to the Sept. 11 attacks.
Louisville coach Rick Pitino lost his brother-in-law and best friend, Billy Minardi, an equities trader who worked on the 104th floor of the World Trade Center's North Tower. Then New Mexico coach and current ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla lost a former student manager who worked under him at Manhattan College. And former Georgetown coach John Thompson II intended to take the hijacked plane that crashed into the Pentagon before a TV booker persuaded him to fly to Los Angeles the following day instead.
A handful of college basketball coaches took to Twitter on Wednesday to remember what they were doing twelve years ago when the towers fell. Below is a look at what they had to say:
Santa Clara coach Kerry Keating: "Twelve years ago today was on redeye returning from visit [with former Tennessee point guard C.J. Watson]. ... Drove back from Atlanta after plane grounded with two Vol fans who saw the T on my shirt ... Remember it like yesterday. #NeverForget. It's fitting that I send this tweet today from 35k feet. Our world has forever changed after that day, and now as I raise my kids it's important to teach them about it. Looking forward to taking them to the site."
Creighton coach Doug McDermott: "Twelve years ago, I was on a flight from Denver to Minnesota when the planes hit [the World Trade Center.] Will never forget that day. Strange to be at Denver airport again today."
Kansas State coach Frank Martin: "Twelve years ago, almost to the minute, I was on a treadmill in Atlanta on a recruiting trip. When planes hit [the World Trade Center] I thought I was watching a movie. It was a surreal experience. God bless everyone that lost their life and their families along with all the service men and women who have done the same since fighting for our safety. I love the fact that I live in this GREAT country. On my way to Fort Jackson for 9/11 ceremony. I will NEVER forget. I was raised learning about the attacks on Pearl Harbor and it's meaning towards the values of this country. Please educate our children about the 9/11 attacks so they can understand the values that our founders and everyone since have fought for."
Villanova coach Jay Wright: "I look to the sky and remember my friend Tom Crotty today-Joanne-girls- the firefighters and policeman-never forget 9-11!! [Crotty, Wright's friend and former neighbor from Rockville Center, died in the attacks]
Former Manhattan coach Fran Fraschilla: "Thinking about Jimmy Quinn and the Quinn family on this day. He was a key member of our Manhattan Basketball Team and we lost him on 9/11. [Quinn, one of Fraschilla's student managers at Manhattan College in 1994-95, died in the World Trade Center, where he worked for securities brokerage Cantor Fitzgerald.]