Former SJU Basketball Coach Believes Things are OK at Naples Condo

Former SJU Basketball Coach Believes Things are OK at Naples Condo Photo: Courtesy of St. John's University

September 11, 2017 04:32 PM

It's too early to say for sure, but former St. John's University basketball coach Jim Smith and his wife Adrienne felt like they may have dodged a bullet Monday.

The pair, who reside in Edina, have had a condo in Naples, Florida, since 2003. In 2008, they moved from one on the second floor of their building to one on the first.



The community in which their condo is located is about three-fourths of a mile from the Gulf of Mexico. And so they watched with concern as Hurricane Irma bore down on the Naples area this past weekend.

But though Naples saw winds of well over 130 miles per hour, reports indicate Irma's impact on the city was not as severe as had been feared. And Smith said he talked to the person in charge of landscaping at their community Monday, who said there did not appear to be any water or structural damage in their location.

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"There were trees down and a lot of the landscaping was torn up," said Smith, 83, who retired in 2015 following 51 seasons and 786 career victories. "And of course, everybody is without electricity."

"But it appears we may have lucked out," he added. "We won't know for sure until we're able to get down there and check it out, or somebody can get in there to look at it for us. But it looks like there wasn't any major damage."

Smith said family members who live across the street from them in Naples evacuated and were forced to spend a night in a rest area because of traffic issues before finally getting to Montgomery, Alabama.

His son and daughter-in-law in Fort Myers evacuated to his daughter-in-law's mother's place in Tampa.

"They said a huge oak tree came crashing down and just missed the house they were in (in Tampa)," Smith said.

Smith also has a granddaughter whom he said elected to remain in Fort Myers with her two children, and they too seemed to come through the storm OK.

Smith and his wife were in Naples from last October to last May, though he came back and forth to Minnesota a few times in between. They had planned to return to Florida in early November. But he said they may go back sooner if need be.

"We have a person who comes by every couple of weeks and just checks things out," Smith said. "So we'll wait and see what they find when they get in there. If there's some damage we need to deal with, we'll get down there as soon as possible. But right now, we're just playing it by ear."


Frank Rajkowski

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