Thunder helping earthquake victims

Updated: November 7, 2010, 11:16 PM ET
Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Nenad Krstic and the Oklahoma City Thunder are trying to bring attention and some help to an area of Serbia hit by an earthquake this week.

Krstic's hometown of Kraljevo was at the center of a 5.3-magnitude earthquake Wednesday that left two people dead, dozens more injured and thousands of houses damaged.

"That's my hometown," said Krstic, the Thunder's starting center. "My parents live there, my grandparents, my friends. When I go in the summertime to Serbia, I spend some time over there. I spend some time in Belgrade, but that's my town.

"I'm really trying right now to help, and this is a great thing that the organization did -- and the people -- and that's a good sign. It doesn't matter how much money we can send. We can let other people do the same thing."

The Thunder matched donations from fans at Sunday night's game against the Boston Celtics and also raffled off an autographed jersey that Krstic wore during the game. About $10,000 will be donated to the International Red Cross for the relief effort.

"I'm really optimistic because there's a lot of good people in Serbia and in the world that can help and can rebuild," Krstic said. "It's not a lot of money you're talking about. Even before, there was really a small town and nothing really expensive. Just build for the regular life."

Krstic said his family made it through the earthquake unhurt but he has been told people back home are still afraid of whether their homes are safe if another quake happens. He said weaker earthquake hit the area Saturday.

"Everybody's asking themselves, 'Why this now? In the whole world, why here?' We don't have the history of earthquakes, but it's all right," Krstic said. "We're going to get through it."


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE