Frank Ramsey is one of basketball’s most accomplished players. An NCAA champion in 1951 at Kentucky and a seven-time NBA champion with the Boston Celtics, you’ll have a hard time finding many players with more rings than Ramsey, who passed away at 86 years old on Sunday.
But did you know he is also a tornado-survivor?
Back in the fall of 2005, a tornado ripped through Madisonville, Ky., tearing apart the neighborhood surrounding the Madisonville Country Club, among other areas. One of the houses destroyed belonged to Frank Ramsey.
Ramsey was in his home at the time the tornado came barreling through. He ducked into a closet and held on tight as the storm approached his house. When things calmed down and he stepped out of the closet unscathed, he was distraught to find his house was completely gone. He was standing outside.
“I opened the door and there was no house,” he said in an interview on the 10-year anniversary of the tornado. “The house was out on the golf course.”
It was a miracle Ramsey survived. Unfortunately, his most prized possessions did not. He lost everything, including his memorabilia and trophies from his time with the Wildcats and Celtics. I can remember hearing stories of some of it being found miles away, even in other counties. But somehow, someway, he was able to hold onto his life that day. If you saw the scene, you wouldn’t believe it.
So as we remember all that Ramsey did in his basketball career and other aspects of life, let’s also not forget him as the man who survived a devastating tornado.
Watch him talk about it on the 10th anniversary here.