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6/28/2011: One-on-One with Zach McCabe

Posted on 28. Jun, 2011 by in Iowa Basketball

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Iowa sophomore forward Zach McCabe is one of many to be affected by the Missouri River flooding around Western Iowa.

By Brendan Stiles

HawkeyeDrive.com

Zach McCabe is a sophomore forward for the Iowa Hawkeyes and a native of Sioux City, Iowa, a town that for the last month has been one of many in Western Iowa to be affected by flooding from the Missouri River.

This flood has impacted McCabe and his family. For starters, they were all on vacation when they first learned what was happening. The McCabes returned home earlier than planned, and found themselves having to evacuate their Sioux City residence.

McCabe has been on campus this summer and like the rest of his Iowa teammates, is participating in the Prime Time League. His family is temporarily living near Okoboji and has been told it would be months before they can all return home.

On June 27, President Barack Obama officially gave six counties in the western part of Iowa a major disaster declaration as a result of the ongoing destruction from the Missouri River floods. One of the six counties receiving the declaration was Woodbury County, where Sioux City is located. According to KCAU-TV in Sioux City, the Missouri River as of Tuesday had a crest of 34.87 feet.

This conversation between McCabe and I took place following his PTL game on June 26. While I did ask him a few questions at the start of our interview about his team winning its contest that afternoon, the premise of this Q&A is to let McCabe tell his story of how events from this past month have affected him:

HawkeyeDrive.com (HD): How difficult has it been to deal with the flooding back in your hometown while also trying to concentrate on other things like basketball?

Zach McCabe: It’s obviously getting worse and worse as June is moving on. I was actually on vacation and had come back early. It was just a bad situation where weather went the wrong way, and the dam was just too full of water. It was hard. That was kind of a workout just sandbagging and doing all of that stuff. I’d do that during the day and go shoot at night, trying to find somewhere to shoot. That was kind of what I did for the first couple of days, but we had to move everything out of our house.

Right now, my family is living in Okoboji and my dad just travels in for work every day. He travels down an hour, hour-and-a-half for work every day. It’s just kind of hard on the family right now and on my sisters that are in high school and middle school, stuff like that. They’re making it work. I think everything’s going all right.

HD: You said it interrupted your vacation. How did you find out about the flooding?

McCabe: We were actually in Mexico. Actually, the funny thing was before we left, it wasn’t even that big of a deal. Then the next thing you know, we’re getting emails in Mexico that “You guys should probably come home,” and stuff like that. So my dad went home, and he would tell us if we needed to go back. He said it was getting worse, so we all made the decision to go back home and start trying to prepare, get everything out of our house.

HD: Have you been given any sort of idea when you would be able to move back into your house?

McCabe: They said November. They actually built a levee down our street. There are cement streets full of just dirt, and it’s a huge levee. It’s like a 6-foot levee right now. It’s not a good thing right now.

HD: And you said your family has been living in Okoboji, so that’s kind of like a temporary home right now?

McCabe: Yeah. That’s where my family is at right now. I actually have a lot of family that live in Sioux City. My dad actually is from up in Okoboji, so it’s kind of nice to have family up there. We just have a bunch of family living up there right now and not really in Sioux City.

HD: What if anything have your Iowa teammates been able to do, as far as talking to you, helping out?

McCabe: They asked questions. They asked if we needed anything. Coach [McCaffery] has actually texted and asked if I needed anything. Really, there’s nothing you can do except just pray, and we’ll hope for the best.

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