After 12 games played with the team, Hearst led the scoring side with 15.5 points per game and was one of the top scorers in the championship. An absolutely normal season until a few weeks ago the conflict between Russia and Ukraine began and the entire country came to a standstill.

Hearst became one of thousands of people caught up in the Russian situation in Ukraine and was forced to leave the country. HLA Alicante appeared in the player’s professional career and rescued Zaid Hearst before the Russian invasion of Ukraine finally broke out.

“I was playing in a very competitive league and had a good team. Unfortunately, the war broke out and I had to leave the country,” Hearst said.

Hearst left the Ukraine on February 28 in the direction of Alicante fleeing the war and in search of a better professional opportunity. That same day, Russian tanks took Mykolaiv. The city authorities asked the citizens to hide in basements as Russia was going to bomb the city. While the situation in Mykolaiv was getting complicated, Zaid Hearst was on a plane to Alicante.

“This situation is crazy. Fortunately, I was able to get out before the war started”, commented the HLA Alicante player. Those who were not as lucky as Hearst were some of his teammates, who are still in the Ukraine.

“I continue to maintain contact and talk with them. They keep me informed of what is going on. Some left the country, but many remain there. We talk every day through the team’s WhatsApp group. I try to make sure everyone is okay. It is a very tough situation, but fortunately, for the moment, everyone is fine” added the Nigerian player.

In the words of Zaid Hearst: “The people of Ukraine are very strong.” Only a few months in Ukraine have been enough for the HLA Alicante player to feel very involved with the Ukrainian people.

In this sense, HLA Alicante will collect next Sunday in the match against Palmer Alma Mediterránea Palma sanitary material, clothing and non-perishable food to send to Ukraine. Zaid Hearst encourages the fans to help the Ukrainian people: “Anything that people can bring like clothes or any other material will be great to give our support and help to the people of Ukraine.”