Coach Pat Kelsey calls on nation to 'step up' after mass shooting

There may be no one who better articulated every parent's sentiments concerning the horrific mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School than Winthrop head basketball coach Pat Kelsey.

Kelsey's heartfelt remarks about the shootings in Newtown, Conn. and what he and all of us can do in the wake of the tragedy are capturing the attention of the nation.

"I'm really, really lucky," Kelsey told a room full of reporters, "because I'm gonna get on an eight-hour bus ride, and I'm gonna arrive in Rock Hill, S.C., and I'm gonna walk into my house, and I'm gonna walk upstairs, and I'm gonna walk into two pink rooms, OK, with a 5-year-old and a 4-year-old laying in that pink room, with a bunch of teddy bears laying in that room. And I'm gonna give them the biggest hug and the biggest kiss I've ever given them. And there's 20 families in (Newtown), Conn., that are walking into a pink room with a bunch of teddy bears with nobody laying in those beds. And it's tragic."

Kelsey went on to call on not only our leaders but everyone to take action in big ways, in small ways and in each and every way they can to end such tragedies.

To watch video of his remarks, click on the video player below. (Note to mobile and tablet users: Open the story in a browser to watch the video.)

The coach's comments came following a 65-55 loss to Ohio State on Tuesday. The Cincinnati native and former Xavier University player admittedly took advantage of the platform at a press conference to describe the impact the shooting had on his family and then made an impassioned plea for the nation to act.

Kelsey urged President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner to "step up" and lead the nation through this difficult time. Kelsey pledged to be an "agent of change" along with the 13 players on his basketball roster and with his two daughters.

How do you pledge to make positive change in your community in wake of the Newtown, Conn. mass shooting? From big moves to small steps, what can you do? Comment below or join our conversation at our Facebook page.

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