CoachCal.com: Meet Skal Labissiere

On Jan. 12, 2010, Skal Labissiere’s life changed forever.

The day started off just like any other for Labissiere, 14 years old at the time, except that his dad picked him up from school instead of his mom. Later, that would prove to be a blessing in disguise.

Because it was his dad who had picked him up, Labissiere ran inside when he got home to say hello to his mother and little brother while his dad stayed outside to work on fixing a basketball hoop that Skal and his little brother, Elliot, played on. With basketball practice scheduled for later that day, Skal went to wash his hands before getting something to eat. It was at that point that his life, and the lives of millions of others, was affected forever, as the epicenter of a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit just 16 miles from his home in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

“I ran to my mom, my little brother ran and had just enough time to make it there. Then the house just collapsed on us,” Labissiere said in an exclusive interview with CoachCal.com. “The only reason my dad didn’t come inside the house was because of the basketball goal. He was fixing it. I remember just being there and how fast it happened. I thought I was dreaming at first. I just shook my head and was like, ‘Wow, this is really happening.’ ”

A computer desk was the only thing that stopped the wall to their side from crumbling on top of them, essentially saving their lives. The first thing Skal could remember was hearing his brother screaming about his foot, which had been caught in the rubble.  Though he couldn’t see where they were coming from behind the now ruined houses of Port-au-Prince, screams from people elsewhere echoed into the wreckage.

Because Skal’s dad was outside during the earthquake, he knew to look for them amid the rubble. Had he not been outside, who knows if or when the Labissieres would have been rescued from underneath their now demolished home.