The girls were in Houston for Friday night's season opener against Rice; certainly not the way their coach wanted it to start.
A quick stop for dinner at a Chili's on Westpark and Buffalo Speedway on Thursday night turned into a big disappointment for the Prairie View A&M's women's basketball team. Police say thieves broke a lock on their team van and stole everything inside: iPods, iPads, laptops, cell phones, wallets, even the team's practice uniforms and backpacks with their player numbers.
"We're not going to allow student-athletes to go to a game without the things that they need. So we heard about it last night, as soon as we heard about it, we were able to get new shoes for the girls. Those things can be replaced," PVAMU spokesperson Sheleah Reed told Eyewitness News via phone.
A Chili's manager told us while they installed surveillance cameras six months ago, the team's van was parked in front of Party City, an angle their cameras don't catch. But late Friday afternoon, some good news for the team from police as a hotel manager found some of the stolen items, including IDs and credit cards, in a dumpster behind the Extended Stay off the Southwest Freeway.
"It's just unfortunate that this is something they have to deal with on the eve and now the day of their season opener," Reed told us.
Tip-off is 7pm Friday at Rice University. The coach hasn't allowed the girls to interviews yet because she doesn't want them distracted going into the game.
Anyone with information on this crime is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.