Faith in Haith, Mizzou Shines Following Trip to Joplin

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JOPLIN - It seems everyone in Joplin has a story. Atiba Bradley is no different.

The former Mizzou football graduate assitant is the linebackers coach at Missouri Southern. When the tornado hit, he was with his wife and eight-month old child at Wal-Mart.

"As everything was falling down on us, the register was catching the bulk of the stuff," Bradley said. "So, I was able to once it was all over standup and push and shift stuff and climb out."

Just like Atiba, Joplin continues to climb through the rubble, and Mizzou is trying to help. Missouri basketball coach Frank Haith was part of a team that traveled to Joplin last week to help with the relief efforts.

"Our goal was, as a university today, to come here and take people's minds off it a little bit and see the young people smile," Haith said.

Missouri Southern basketball coach Robert Corn spent much of the day with Haith, and was truly able to put the situation into perspective.

"Right now everybody is in shock and just running on adrenaline, and at some point everybody is going to hit the wall and you've got to make sure people are there to catch you," he said.

When Haith arrived, he was stunned at the sight of Joplin laying before him.

"The images I envisioned before here gives it no justice. Actually seeing it is pretty amazing. It's unbelievable," he said.

After visiting the Red Cross shelter, Corn took the Mizzou group on a tour, and coach Haith couldn't contain his tears.

"People have lost everything. All we can do is to continue to pray for those folks," Haith said.

Missouri basketball is also trying to set up a preseason exhibition game with the proceeds going to help people in Joplin put their lives back together.

"That tells you the type of people Missouri has in its administration. That tells you the type of person coach Haith is to even suggest something," Corn said.

"We're hopeful that will happen for us because that will be a tremendous boost to this community."

The images are lasting and unforgettable. But Bradley says it's a sound he can't forget.

"A lot of people ask me do you remember the sounds of the tornado. And the only thing that sits in my mind are the screams," he said.