Plane carrying U of M basketball team slides off runway

A damaged plane rests at Willow Run Airport after skidding off the runway while carrying University of Michigan's basketball team. (WDIV)

YPSILANTI TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Wednesday’s high winds led to some tense moments on the runway for the University of Michigan’s men’s basketball team.

The team’s plane was trying to leave Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti Township when the high winds forced the pilot to abort the takeoff, according to U of M Basketball Associated Director Tom Wywrot.

He said after “strong braking,” the plane slid off the runway.

The plane suffered extensive damage, but everyone was evacuated and is OK, according to Wywrot.

The No. 8 Wolverines were able to arrange alternative travel late Wednesday night and are expected to play its Thursday game at noon against No. 9 Illinois in the Big Ten Tournament, according to a news release from U of M. Their plane is expected to arrive at 8:45 a.m. Thursday in Washington, D.C. and the team will head directly to the Verizon Center.

“We appreciate all the support and well wishes from our Michigan family as well as those who have reached out with their thoughts and support. Go Blue!,” said Warde Manuel, the athletics director at U of M.