USF was able to upset No. 25 Syracuse on Saturday despite missing one of its senior’leaders, Melissa Dalembert, a native of Haiti.
Dalembert has missing family members in the wake of a massive earthquake that struck the country last week.
‘I have spoken with Melissa every day,’ said USF head coach Jose Fernandez. ‘She is doing better.’
Dalembert’s father is in Haiti now helping with the relief efforts, and her mom will be traveling there soon.
‘We have a lot of student athletes of Haitian descent at USF, and this is a time we all need to band together,’ Fernandez said. ‘We are all family here.’
Dalembert, who is averaging 8.5 points and 8.3 rebounds per game this season, returned to the team Monday.
‘Tragedy is something very difficult to deal with,’ said senior center Jessica Lawson. ‘We all really miss (Dalembert) and can’t wait to get her back.’
– Joel Leventhal