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What you need to know for 08/23/2017

Siena star ‘biggest fan’ of two crash survivors

Siena star ‘biggest fan’ of two crash survivors

Matt Hardy and Bailey Wind got a visit from their greatest fan Wednesday.
Siena star ‘biggest fan’ of two crash survivors
Siena basketball star O.D. Anosike, second from left, sent out this Tweet and photo on Wednesday: "My teammates and I visited Matt and @BaileyWind today. We will continue to support them through this tragedy. #SienaSaints"

Matt Hardy and Bailey Wind got a visit from their greatest fan Wednesday.

The two badly injured survivors of the weekend crash on the Northway that killed two of their friends were visited by members of Siena College’s basketball team this afternoon, including forward O.D. Anosike.

The Saints’ star shared a picture on Twitter of the two teens with himself, Davis Martens, Chris Leppanen and Brett Bisping.

In a tweet he made after the visit, Anosike said Hardy and Wind told him they were his biggest fans. And he reciprocated the sentiment.

“For the remarkable amount of courage they have shown, I’m their biggest fan also,” he wrote in the post.

Hardy and Wind were driving home from watching the Saints’ 69-56 loss to the University at Albany on Saturday when the Ford Explorer they were riding in on was clipped by a Volvo driven by 22-year-old Dennis Drue, according to eyewitnesses.

The crash caused a horrific rollover that killed driver Chris Stewart and back-seat passenger Deanna Rivers, both 17.

As social media rapidly circulated news about the crash, Anosike was watching. On Sunday, he started to post about it on Twitter.

“Been hearing a lot crazy things today,” he tweeted. “Makes you cherish life that much more. Always have to put things in life in perspective.”

Then later, he went further. He asked his followers to pray for the families. He said life is more important than wins and losses. He posted a picture of Stewart’s mangled Explorer and urged his followers to count their blessings.

“Life is more important than wins and losses,” he wrote.

When Twitter users around the Capital Region and the nation started a campaign to get New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow to call Hardy at Albany Medical Center on Monday, Anosike readily picked up the cause among his 1,400-plus followers.

He also aided a Twitter campaign to get Olympic diver Missy Franklin to call Wind.

Both campaigns were successful.

“Don’t thank me, this was a team effort by all of us,” he posted afterward. “We all took part and created something bigger than ourselves, and that’s special.”

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