Haiti Rumors

He was rehabilitating on the Pistons’ injured reserve list at the time but couldn’t sit idly by, he said, while his people suffered. So he departed the team for the ongoing protests at the Miami center. “Danny Glover, just a slew of folks, too many to name, were getting arrested for my country,” Polynice told me Friday night over the phone from his Southern California home. “I was like, ‘If I don’t do something, then what am I doing here?’ ” Upon returning to the Pistons’ roster in late January 1993, he did do something. Polynice announced to the media, “As of today, I’ll be on a hunger strike to protest the U.S. policies against the Haitian refugees.”
Labissiere plans to venture back to Haiti soon, to set up basketball camps, connect with philanthropists, and potentially start an academy. The prospect of returning for the first time in years fills him with excitement: spending time with his sister, embracing the friends he’s kept in touch with, reconciling the Haiti of his memories with the unrecognizably altered one that he left. “He has a strong affection in his heart for trying to help kids [in Haiti],” says his agent, Travis King, of Independent Sports & Entertainment. “To give them the opportunity he had to get off the island and excel in the States in high school and college.”
2 years ago via VICE
Then the earthquake struck. A wall collapsed on Labissiere’s back, and forced him into a crouch that would make his legs go numb for weeks. Underneath the rubble, he couldn’t see a thing. He couldn’t move. The only hint of the outside world were screams: cries for help from families, friends, a whole community of voices outside, pleading for familiar voices to respond. Labissiere and his family, trapped inside, were screaming only for recognition, signaling for anyone at all who could hear them to help. Labissiere did this, too, until the moment came when he stopped believing help would arrive. “After 30 minutes or so, I just physically gave up,” he says. There’s no point in trying to scream, he remembers thinking. Nobody’s gonna hear us. Stuck in that crouch, Labissiere’s faith numbed with his legs. He pictured the end—of his dreams of basketball and the future, and of his life. He assumed that his father, nowhere in sight, was already gone.
2 years ago via VICE