Some Brooklyn students whose lives were upended by Sandy got a welcome break Monday with a night out at Barclays Center. NY1's Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.
Students at the Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies on Monday were treated to dinner and tickets to a college basketball tournament at Barclays Center.
"To be able to see this place and have the good food and watch a good game was really fun," said Nelson Perez, an eighth grader at the school.
Most of the students live in Red Hook and suffered through the devastation of Hurricane Sandy for weeks.
"I lost power. Some of the floors in my apartment were flooded. And a lot of people had to light candles so we could see through the hallways because the hallways were really dark. A lot of people didn't know where they were going," Perez recalled.
"It's been hard because we had no food, no water and it was just hard for us and we had to survive through," said John Ruiz Jr., a tenth grader at the school.
The Ruiz family almost lost one of five children when flood waters nearly swept their young daughter away.
"She fell and the water just took her. Our 18-year-old daughter just noticed and grabbed her," said Noemi Cintron, a Red Hook resident.
The Ruiz family was among the roughly 100 people who were bused to the arena where they had a thanksgiving meal at the 40/40 club and watched the Progressive Legends Classic.
"We just wanted to give them a moment to experience the Barclays Center, have some great food and hopefully make their lives better for a couple of hours," said Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark.
"I have heard maybe 50 times already, this is the best day ever so for them it's something they would have never experienced otherwise so they're thrilled to be here," said Adeola Amory, a Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies teacher.
Also included in the group were residents from Far Rockaway and Canarsie. Most said, before Monday night, they had only seen the arena from the outside.