• Rachel Masson

SWOSU's Men's Basketball Team During COVID-19

Updated: Nov 6, 2020

By Rachel Masson

News Reporter

Coach Terry Evans.

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, fall sports were cancelled and winter sports were postponed until the spring semester. However, fall and winter sports teams are still allowed to participate in only non-contact practices. Non-contact practices are a way to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus among the campus.

For the SWOSU Men’s Basketball team, non-contact practices mean fundamental things such as ball handling, shooting, and defense.

“We talk a lot about having discipline, both on and off the court, you know, being where you’re supposed to be on defense,” Coach Evans said. “But mainly just a lot of skill work. A lot of ball handling, shooting, conditioning and that’s pretty much it since we’re limited.”

Doing the same things over and over in practice can become very repetitive and tiring, but Evans is hopeful that the team can transition to scrimmaging and having contact practices.

Although Evans and the team are hopeful to have a season this year, they realize that COVID-19 is still unpredictable.

“It’s just something that we can’t control,” Evans said. “We just have to do what we’re able to do.”

Evans also mentioned that another conference, the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association, which includes schools such as the University of Central Oklahoma and Northeastern State University, announced that its schools will begin play on Nov. 19. However, Evans is unaware if this information will have any effect on the Great American Conference planning to start in January.

“We basically just have to do what our administration feels best,” Evans said.

Since spring sports were cancelled for the 2019-20 school year and fall sports have been cancelled for the 2020 fall semester, spring and fall sport athletes have been granted an extra year of eligibility. Yet, basketball is the only sport to have not been granted extra eligibility as of right now.

“We (basketball) are the only sport that, so far, has not been granted an extra year, but we’re still dealing with all of the issues with COVID and the precautions that we have to take,” Evans said. “Hopefully these kids will get an extra year because we’re not playing a full season.”

Like many other teams, Evans said that the toughest obstacle for the team so far this year is dealing with COVID-19.

“It’s basically just the COVID issues,” Evans said. “You know, not knowing when you’re going to play. Even though one or two guys, or ten guys, are doing everything they’re supposed to do (following COVID-19 guidelines), if one guy doesn’t, they can kind of mess up the whole show. We’ve seen probably at every school, probably every sport has had to shut down at one point or another.”

The men’s basketball team did have to shut down for a few days earlier this semester when one of its players caught COVID-19.

Head Athletic Trainer Edwin Detwiler.

Edwin Detweiler, head athletic trainer, spoke about the coronavirus situation among the men’s basketball team.

“There has been more than one basketball player that has had it (COVID-19),” Detweiler said. “I think every sport has had at least one case.”

As of right now, Detweiler said that no other player currently has the virus.

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