The massive tornado that ripped through a handful of Oklahoma City suburbs and killed at least 50 people grabbed the attention of the sports world on Monday, especially the players and coaches with ties to the area.

Kevin Durant, a three-time scoring champion for the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder, posted on his Twitter account that he was praying for everyone involved. He added: "Everybody stay safe!"

New York Mets pitcher Jeremy Hefner went to Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, just south of Oklahoma City. The school had its roof torn off and walls knocked down. Some of those killed during the storm died at the school. He also attended Briarwood Elementary School in Oklahoma City, which was also hit by the twister.

"It's gut-wrenching and it's saddening and I wish I was there," the right-hander said.

Hefner still has family living in Moore. He said he had been in contact with his mother, who told him his cousins and uncles were OK.

"It's unfathomable because I lived there," he said. "I'm praying and feel for the families there."

The Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office, according to ABC News, said 51 people are confirmed dead, of which at least 20 are childen. More than 100 casualties are being treated at area hospitals.

Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker, a native of Oklahoma City, posted a message on Twitter to offer his support: "Thoughts and prayers to my hometown OKC. Luckily my family is safe. I have lived in OK a long time. This one might be the worst!"

Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper also took to Twitter to voice his concern: "Prayers go out to all my friends and family in Oklahoma! May god be with you in these horrible times! Love you all! Be safe!"

University of Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione said in a text message to ESPN.com that everyone who was on campus in Norman was safe from the tornado but "we know at least some who have lost homes, pets and who knows how much more. Things are happening in ways which makes it tough to process. Cell or landline phone service is out or spotty in many areas. Cable/internet is also out."