For their entire season, the coaches of Northeastern University’s women’s basketball team have been telling players that the team would be “unstoppable” if they focus on working together, sophomore shooting guard Shannon Todd said.
Though that advice was intended for basketball, it applied off the court Wednesday morning when the Huskies’ bus got stuck in the snow on a Philadelphia street, Todd said.
A video posted on the team’s Twitter account shows teammates straining to push the yellow Yankee charter bus forward, cheering as the wheels finally turn.
“It kind of summed us up as a team,” Todd said in a phone interview Wednesday night. “The way we play is very team-oriented and we’re all very equal with that, and we had to all work together.”
The team is in Philadelphia to play in the annual Colonial Athletic Association championship, with a trip to the NCAA tournament on the line. They had just departed practice at a gym at St. Joseph’s University and were about halfway through the 15-minute drive to their hotel when the bus slowed down and got stuck, Todd said.
The driver slammed on the gas, and backed up to try to gain momentum, but nothing was working.
“We were kind of like, ‘Oh dear, Oh God, we’re going to be stuck here. We’re going to have to call for a new bus or get towed or something,” said Todd, a criminal justice and psychology major who is in her second year on the team.
Teammates began joking about having to push the bus forward, but after a few minutes, it turned into a serious proposition.
“There was really no other option,” Todd said.
The 13 players who were on the bus ventured out into the snow, and joining with a few coaches and an athletic trainer, gathered at the back of the bus. At first, they had no luck. But after about five minutes they were able to get the bus moving with a coordinated push.
The rest of the day was surreal, Todd said. Former teammates and coaches texted her about the video as it went viral and aired on national news broadcasts.
As the team prepares for a Thursday matchup with the University of Delaware, the incident is front of mind as an example of how their unity as a team spills over into other areas of life, Todd said.
“The whole season has been about just getting the job done any way that we can do it. That’s basically what we did with pushing this bus today,” she said.Jacob Carozza can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.