At Nebraska girls basketball tourney, York High students honor memory of opposing coach’s daughter

Even though their school colors are gold and navy, York High students wore purple Thursday at the Nebraska girls state basketball tournament in Lincoln. The students wore the color to show support for the opposing team’s assistant coach, whose premature baby girl died just days before the tournament. Purple is the color for premature birth awareness.

Elkhorn High assistant coach Ben Meyer’s daughter, Logan, was born at 22 weeks weighing barely a pound and died a week later. Meyer had coached at York, and he and York head coach Matt Kern are close friends.

When York High students heard about Meyer’s daughter, they decided that they wanted to honor him and his wife, Lisa, and their baby girl.

“I’m absolutely proud of our kids,” Kern said. “We play to compete and try to win, but we know there is so much more out there in life.”

The Elkhorn student section wore purple, and the school’s team chose purple for its commemorative state tournament T-shirts.

Meyer said his wife suffered a hemorrhage that caused her to go into early labor. Their daughter was born Feb. 17 and faced lung and other problems, he said. Doctors said it was a miracle that she lived a week.

“She’s my hero for how hard she fought that week,” he said. “She changed my life and my wife’s life for the short time she was on this earth.”

Meyer said he knew that students from his school planned to wear purple but had no idea that the York students were planning to as well.

He said he felt lifted up when he saw the York student section filled with purple.

“We’re just thankful and blessed for all the support we’ve had,” he said. “This is a great gesture. It says a lot about (York). Just a classy community and a classy school.”