Basketball players stay in shape amid Covid-19 safety protocols

Due to coronavirus, many sports have been delayed. It is very difficult to refrain from touching others when playing contact sports like football, volleyball, field hockey, basketball, etc. so keeping from playing sports is probably the best way to stay away from Covid-19. The unanswered question is whether the delay in sports or the precautions taken against Covid-19 affect the players.

Sports like volleyball, basketball and many others are starting green days. Basketball is going to be having a season this year including many other sports. They have no time to waste and are ready to get their players prepared for the new season.

Junior point guard and shooting guard Maxwell Lanham thinks that the pandemic could affect his athletic skills.

“Due to me not playing like I normally was, I wasn’t able to get any looks from any colleges during the summer,” Lanham said. “My junior year was one of the most important years for me, basketball wise.”

Although Lanham wasn’t able to play with a team that much, he could still do things outside of school.

“I haven’t been able to play any kind of team ball, but my parents were still letting me train with some of my trainers either one on one or small groups,” Lanham said. “So, even though I wasn’t able to play any team ball, overall I was able to improve my game.”

On the other hand, sophomore point guard John Awoke thinks otherwise.

“Corona doesn’t affect my future with basketball because I don’t see this virus going on for much longer but college-wise it might play a little factor.”

The future of the players is all they are thinking about and about what will happen to the players if Covid 19 lasts longer than anticipated.

As a sophomore who is now transitioning to varsity, this delay could be really difficult considering that they just upgraded to a more advanced level.

“It affected me dramatically. Because of Covid-19, we couldn’t really build chemistry with our team. We couldn’t go into gyms and play the game that we love,” sophomore power forward Emannel Adomakah said. “It didn’t let me showcase my skills to my coaches and my peers.”

Students have been practicing outside of school and are still continuing to become stronger players, but the routine for Green Days has changed.

“This year, we haven’t been allowed on the courts yet and we have certain rules now that we had to follow that we didn’t have last year like keeping six feet away from each other, checking in before you continue to head to the field and wearing a mask until you get onto the fields,” Lanham said. “We haven’t been able to use the basketballs yet either. It’s just been conditioning and strength training. We aren’t in the weight room, but we are still in the field. I don’t mind what we are doing now because I’m still playing on my own time.”

A lot could go wrong with playing a contact sport during this time. You are taking a big risk when you put yourself out there and play a sport. Parents are scared, coaches are scared, and so are the players.

“I’m very thankful that we will be having a season this year, but I am nervous because it’s easy to spread and there’s no stopping it while playing basketball like you can’t be 6 feet away from each other,” sophomore point guard John Awoke said.

However, others believe that if we take the right steps we need to stay safe then there will be no problem.

“I’m glad FCPS is giving kids the opportunity to play. As long as coaches are following all safety guidelines and players are being cautious and aware of who they’re around when not around the team, I think it could be a success,” varsity coach Deidrich Gilreath said.

Students are still preparing for the new season that is planned to happen this year. Covid-19 is a huge setback, but it didn’t stop the players from working hard and continuing to grow as an athlete.