HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) – December across the Tri-State means area schools are hitting the hardwood as basketball season is in full swing. A normal sight, right? Well, for many schools across western Kentucky, the month of December was anything but normal. That includes Mayfield High School.

After the December 10 tornado ravaged western Kentucky, including the community of Mayfield, it left their community picking up the pieces, and the basketball team taking an unexpected break from practices. For Mayfield boys basketball head coach Payton Croft and his team, December 2021 has been a learning experience that extends well beyond the game of basketball.

“They’re getting to see that firsthand,” says Coach Croft. “I’m seeing several of our kids take that same approach. Like, they’re literally looking for people to help and they’re really taking that on. It’s been really neat to see that.”

For the team and the Mayfield community, being able to participate in the Basketball Classic tournament in Henderson was not only a blessing, but it also provided an escape from the damage and destruction.

“Just coming back for a little bit of basketball, even if it’s just a few games, it gives you a sense of, oh things are going to be normal again, eventually,” explains Carrie Fulton, Mayfield resident.

Fulton’s son Nolan, a junior at Mayfield High School, agrees.

“When you’re here playing basketball, you kind of forget about what’s going on out there. It’s a good distraction.”

For Mayfield, and all of those impacted by the December tornadoes, the approach is one day at a time.

“We just don’t know what tomorrow brings,” says Croft. “We’re here today, we’re going to make the best of today, and what tomorrow brings, it brings, and we’re going to make the best of it.”