By Dante Della Porta, Staff Writer
The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have leaked into the sports seasons at LIU. The impacts of the pandemic have devastated both students and coaches.
Men’s Basketball head coach Derek Kellogg is excited for the day the season can get back underway. “I feel like we’re all anxious to get going and have a college basketball season and get back to some normalcy. Not only in athletics, but in our everyday life. So I think those two things go hand in hand.” Kellogg said .
The sense of community and togetherness displayed by all players throughout the COVID pandemic, is telling of how much of a strong family they have made for each other, both on and off the court. “I would say, to be honest with you I’m not really looking forward to anything specific, but just playing on the court with my brothers. Like, pretty much, I just want to lace my shoes up, you feel me? And get the season going, nothing really special that I’m looking forward to. Just trying to be a leader on this team and hopefully we can do big things to start our season” said Cotton.
Many students and coaches shared similar experiences and opinions when discussing their emotional state surrounding the delays and cancellations of games. Due to these setbacks, some students were concerned that the season would not be held at all. Men’s Guard, Virshon Cotton understands the severity of the situation, but is also hopeful for the season’s return. “ I think that the season won’t come. Just because of the whole University and the effects of COVID. This is bigger than just basketball,” he said “But do I want the seasons to come? Yes, and we’re gonna keep doing everything the right way, so if we finally get the chance to have the season, we’ll be ready.”
Ty Flowers, a Redshirt Senior, wants the opportunity to give it his all in his final season. “I’m ready to go out there and win a championship. That’s it,” he said. “I’m ready to go out there and win a championship. That’s it.”
The phenomenal sense of community and togetherness that is displayed by all players throughout the COVID pandemic, is telling of how much of a strong family they have made for each other, both on and off the court. “I would say, I’m not really looking forward to anything specific, but just playing on the court with my brothers,” Cotton said. “I just want to lace my shoes up, and get the season going, nothing really special that I’m looking forward to. Just trying to be a leader on this team and hopefully we can do big things to start our season.”
On the women’s basketball team, players voiced similar responses about their outlook for the next season. Mia Perkins, Senior Forward, is optimistic for the season’s outlook. “I’m actually excited to get things going back to normal, as long as we follow all rules and protocols and make sure we have a safe environment, I think we should be good.”she said.,
Brandy Thomas, Junior Guard, is excited to get back on the court. “I am definitely anticipating the experience and rush of adrenaline just being on the court with my team and gaining some wins with them,” Thomas said.
The team’s coaches are concerned not just with getting the sport’s back on track, but also the safety for everyone involved. Coach Kellogg feels the administration is putting them in the best situation to play this season, while keeping students safe at the same time. “ I’m eventually optimistic about sports, obviously returning. What the new normal is, I think is the question mark for everybody,” he said. “I believe all the administration, the coaches and the players are doing the best they can to put themselves in a position to have some sort of normalcy and season with the future, obviously being a little bit brighter.” Kellogg said.
Women’s head coach Rene Haynes is taking things one step at a time, but ultimately feels the season will be played.“I am very optimistic about everything returning back to normal this season. If things don’t, I believe that we are all doing our best to make sure our students are safe, while they enjoy playing the sport they love,” Haynes said“Adversity comes in different shapes and sizes. We just have to stay focused and understand that we have to keep looking forward and working together towards our goals.”
Overall all basketball teams have been impacted greatly by this sudden shift in schedule for their athletic lives. Looking forward, many remain optimistic yet realistic at the same time.