Uvalde Strong: Southside High Coach Jessica Cardenas & the San Antonio Spurs


Southside High School girls basketball coach Jessica Cardenas has coached with the Spurs summer camps for the past eight years. What happened Saturday, October 8 is an experience she says she’ll never forget. The San Antonio Spurs invited her to coach children from Uvalde’s Robb Elementary along with the entire Spurs organization; including Manu Ginobili and Coach Greg Popovich. As the event began, Coach Pop glanced over and caught Coach Cardenas in awe of the entire event. “He looked at me and said, ‘Coach, are you okay?’ I said, ‘Yes, I think I”ll figure things out.’ It was a little overwhelming and I just wanted to make sure I was doing the right job.” The Spurs and Coach Cardenas were in Uvalde to comfort children who lost siblings or were inside Robb Elementary during the May 24th massacre. It happened when an 18-year old gunman who used an AR-15 rifle and killed 19 children and two teachers. Cardenas is well aware of the similarities between Uvalde and Southside. “My two girls go to Pearce (Elementary) and the high school. I can see our kids in them.” She added, “You know, they’re kids.” The Southside coach says the entire experience was surreal. As she reflected on her day, Coach Cardenas said the day belonged to the kids. She loves children and wanted to give them a little fun and hope.”I don’t know when the last time they enjoyed themselves. It was really neat hearing all of the ‘Thank You’s.’ In reality we were there to serve them, you know.”