Rocket City Volleyball Club opens their arms and their gym to Irma evacuees

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- As Hurricane Irma barreled towards Florida, thousands of people were forced to evacuate. But one school located in Bradenton, Florida, has students from around the world who couldn't just go home.

Victory Rock Prep is located just a little bit outside of Tampa, right in the path of then Hurricane Irma. The school has an elite basketball team that trains their athletes in the hopes of getting college scholarships.

A local connection to the Rocket City Volleyball Club has brought them here to Huntsville as they wait for Irma to pass.

Rose Magers-Powell's son plays basketball at Victory Rock. She and her husband brought him home ahead of Hurricane Irma, but they worried about the rest of the team.

"My husband called me on the phone and said 'I may have spoken out of turn, but I invited them to come.' And I said how many of them? And he said 'about 30 of them.' And I said 'Well how am I supposed to feed 30 people?,'" Magers-Powell explained.

Thankfully, the Powells own Rocket City Volleyball Club, so they decided to reach out to club members, and the response was overwhelming.

"They were really excited. They've been bringing in food.  And then they reached out to some of the restaurants in town, like Zaxby's, Chili's, and Olive Garden, and they have just stepped up to feed these young men," she said.

All of the meals so far have been donated. The Powells also arranged for the team to have a place to stay at a hotel in town, and opened up their gym for the team to use.

Coach Loren Jackson, CEO and founder of Victory Rock, said before they left Irma was still a Category Four hurricane.

"We have a lot of international kids. That was kind of their first time, and it was scary for their parents. So it was really important for us to be able to come down here, and be able to practice as well," he said.

Coach Jackson said they can't thank the Powells and the rest of the club enough, for all that they have done.

"The hospitality, and preparing food for 25 kids and 5 coaches, the only thing I can say is it's just a blessing. It's a blessing that we still have great people around this world that care about kids, and care about people," he said.

Magers-Powell added, "I don't know what's going to happen, but no matter how long they stay we'll be here to help take care of them."

Coach Jackson said thankfully Bradenton didn't get hit too hard. They have heard that their school, facilities, and housing remain intact for whenever they are able to get back.