Minnesota Lynx player Charde Houston’s ordeal after plane diverted to Maine

Yesterday, Charde Houston, a forward for the Minnesota Lynx, left Europe after playing basketball in the Czech Republic for USK Praha during the WNBA offseason. On her way to San Diego, she wanted to surprise her mother with a visit before heading to Minneapolis to join her team’s training camp.

Before she left Prague she tweeted:

It is time! Prague it’s been real! Thanks for being so nice to me. I will tweet when time permits. Have a good one!

However, the next day after many hours of travel, she began tweeting that the plane had been diverted because of a suspected terror attack and that passengers were in New England.

“Had an emergency landing in Boston. A man tried to do something to the plane…Jesus!”

Her messages flowed for a few hours as she gave a detailed account of what happened on Delta Air Lines Flight 273 from Paris to Atlanta. The plane landed in Maine at approximately 3:30 p.m. ET because a passenger claimed to have explosives.

Her messages:

“We are getting off and can’t take anything with us.”

“FBI is heavy right now… This stuff is no joke…clearly. We are on school buses right now.”

“People hugging and kissing loved ones. Cherish life!”

“I am shaking so bad. My mom is watching but doesn’t know it was my flight. I was surprising her. I should call her now.”

“The attendants told everyone to sit down [because] of severe turbulence. It never came, so I knew something was wrong.”

“The flight attendants had an uneasy look on their face… And my spirit wasn’t right.”

The authorities found no explosives on the plane and the disruptive passenger, former Air Force intelligence specialist Derek Stansberry, will appear in U.S. District Court today.

Houston described Stansberry as looking “calm” with a “blank face” and showing no emotion.

She and other passengers are scheduled to leave Maine Wednesday morning.

Among the passengers spending the night in Bangor was J. Alexander, from the television show “America’s Next Top Model.”

Houston tweeted:

“Miss Jay is sitting right next to me. Baffled by this entire thing.”

“Some crazy person almost screwed up my trip,” Alexander told reporters according to the Associated Press. “Now I can say I’ve experienced that and I don’t want it to happen again.”

This is the second time in the past several months that WNBA players have had brushes with terrorism or dangerous situations.

In January, twins and players for the Atlanta Dream, Kelly and Coco Miller, decided to alter their usual Sunday morning route to church in Moscow. Kelly plays for the Russian team Spartak Moscow alongside Diana Taurasi, Sylvia Fowles and Janel McCarville. Coco trains with the team. The subway line that the Minnesota natives usually ride was the target of an attack. Two bombs exploded on the line of their regular route and 37 people died.

Last fall, Spartak’s owner Shabtai von Kalmanovic, was assassinated in Moscow. McCarville, another Minnesotan, had been a passenger in the seat where Kalmanovic was killed just days before the attack.

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