OP basketball player in Brussels during attacks

Posted: 6:27 PM, Mar 22, 2016
Updated: 2016-03-22 19:29:06-04

The terrorist attacks in Brussels sent Overland Park parents Doug and Lynette Ubel into a panic.

The two huddled around their computer from Kansas, using Skype with their children, Brandon and Kayla, who were in Brussels.

Doug Ubel remarked, “You know, where can you go in the world that's totally safe anymore? But yeah, when something happens that close to where you are, you are a little uneasy certainly.”

Brandon Ubel graduated from Blue Valley West and played basketball in Nebraska. He now plays professionally in Brussels - just a few transit stops away from one of the explosions.

“Definitely kind of scary for everyone around here and I think they're still working on catching one of the guys that placed one of the bombs, so hopefully nothing else happens,” Brandon Ubel said.

While the Ubels are safe, a former member of the Brussels basketball team was not. Brandon Ubel explained, “He's in surgery I believe. So he fortunately survived but he is pretty seriously hurt.”

Kayla Ubel and her husband were in town to see one of Brandon Ubel’s games. On the morning of the attacks, the couple had planned to take the train to do some sightseeing.

Lynette Ubel explained, “They were going to take the trains to the actual Maelbeek station that wound up being hit this morning, but luckily they slept in and did not go and got the word from our son before they left.”

Belgian authorities said 20 people died at the Maelbeek station and at least 130 more were wounded.

Brandon Ubel spends the summer back in the Kansas City area when the basketball season ends.

Kayla Ubel and her husband hope to fly out of Paris on Monday.


Shannon Halligan can be reached at

Follow her on Twitter

Connect on Facebook