North Texas Daily

Quick Hits: A conversation with Paris native, men’s basketball forward Eric Katenda about recent attacks

Quick Hits: A conversation with Paris native, men’s basketball forward Eric Katenda about recent attacks

November 19
11:33 2015

Reece Waddell | Senior Staff Writer


Editor’s Note: Given the recent terror attacks in Paris, France, senior staff writer Reece Waddell sat down with graduate student and men’s basketball forward Eric Katenda, who lived in Paris until he was 14 years old, to discuss the recent attacks and how it has affected him and his family and friends back home.

“Do you have family that is still back there and have you been affected by it in any way?”

EK: “My whole family is back there. My mother and my brother, all my friends I grew up with. Everything I know is back there. They all are living there in this time of crisis and adjusting to this new feeling of living in fear. Scary times.”

“Have any of them been injured or hurt? Are they all okay?”

EK: “No, they are all okay.”

“What’s the feeling over there? You talked about fear. Is it just the uncertainty of not knowing what is going to happen next?”

EK: “I couldn’t tell you. I’m not over there. I’m over here just throwing the basketball around. The only thing I can do is pray for them and check on them as much as I can. The whole vibe over there is just really different. It’s a different vibe. The streets of Paris aren’t as crowded as they used to be. My mother wakes up early in the morning to go to work and she’s used to having to fight to get on the train. And she told me it’s been like a ghost town when she goes to work. It’s just really different.”

“When was the last time you spoke to anyone over there?”

EK:  “I talk to my mom daily.”

“What was the conversation with her? Is what happened, obviously it was totally unexpected, so is there just a shock factor?”

EK: “Yeah, definitely. It’s definitely shocking. I remember calling her the day it happened. It was a little after five o’clock here, so it would have been around midnight over there. [My mom] was asleep and she was just afraid, because a lot of people were calling her asking if she was okay and whatnot. Her first reaction was to run to the room and make sure my brother was there and not outside doing God knows what. She woke up the next day watching the news and seeing this whole thing that’s happened. It’s definitely shocking. She won’t allow my brother to leave the house to play basketball anymore. She has to be way more careful. People can’t be outside after a certain time because they just don’t know what’s going on, especially with the threats that are going on right now. People are continuing to say things on social media.”

“But everyone is okay?”

EK: “Everyone’s okay.”

Featured Image: North Texas senior forward Eric Katenda went 5-7 from the field with 18 points, 7 rebounds, and 1 steal in his debut game for UNT. Colin Mitchell | Intern Photographer

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