RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The community is rallying together to support a former Virginia Commonwealth University basketball player after his family home was destroyed by Hurricane Ida.
Malik Crowfield wore the number ’13’ jersey proud on VCU’s court from 2016 to 2020. RamNation and the Richmond-area community are now coming together to help one of their own after the historic storm wreaked havoc in Crowfield’s home state of Louisiana.
“It was heartbreaking and depressing too,” said Crowfield. “People are just sad they lost everything, especially their house.”
Crowfield is one of many on the Gulf Coast who lost everything. He shared that there’s been some tears, but he’s trying to stay strong for his family. The former VCU Point Guard, his parents and grandmother live in LaPlace, Louisiana and a day before the storm they were forced to evacuate to Gonzales, a nearby city in the state.
Two days after the category four storm hit, the Crowfield family returned back to their home in shock to find heavy damage. He goes on to say that it’s been more difficult because his grandmother is sick and relies on at-home hospice care.
“I’m staying strong,” Crowfield told 8News. “I’m praying every night making sure that God got us.”
Documenting the destruction, Crowfield snapped numerous pictures of the damage and provided them to 8News. The photographs show heavy green mold growing on the living room couch, clumps of dirt and debris on the floor, walls peeling and caving in, appliances toppled, and the backyard unrecognizable.
The fence, shed and swimming pool are split and destroyed from heavy wind and falling trees. Crowfield also sharing that he lost all his clothes, shoes, and electronics.
“It’s crazy. Powerlines are down. The gas pumps were crazy with powerlines falling over them,” Crowfield explained. “This big tree by my uncle’s house just fell on his house. When I got in my house, it was like four to five feet of water.”
In need of help, Crowfield created a GoFundMe with part of the description reading:
“I was taught to always help someone, Be a blessing. So I’m asking you to Please, help me be a blessing to my family and donate. Right now we are homeless with no help otherwise. I’m asking for me but more importantly for my family”
The men’s head basketball coach at VCU, Mike Rhoades, showed support online for his former player. Rhoades posted about the fundraiser on social media.
“Attention RamNation! We need your help! One of our own, former Ram Malik Crowfield’20 & his family were impacted by Hurricane Ida. We always take care of each other & step up. I hope you can donate to his page below. Thank you!”
The community and RamNation stepped up in a big way to help. Over $17,000 has been donated in just one day for essential items, housing and clean-up.
Through the devastation, the Crowfield family says they are grateful for the outpouring of support as they try to get back on their feet; crediting RamNation and the Richmond community.
“Thank you,” Crowfield said as he smiled. “I appreciate you. I love all y’all. Thank you for the donations. It’s a real honor to have y’all keeping in contact with me and my family. Love y’all.”
Crowfield and his family are staying with extended family until they find permanent housing. Despite all the tragedy, they are thankful to be alive and have weathered the storm.