Story by Jake Koehler, Aimee De Luna and Max Cruz
The men’s and women’s basketball seasons are officially canceled at Palomar College.
Although the canceled season is disappointing, it seems like it will not affect the players’ eligibility.
“None of our players are going to transfer this year because they won’t lose a year of eligibility due to the virus,” said Coach John O’Neill through email.
It also will not impact the scouting for the men’s basketball team.
“We are still recruiting high school seniors as usual,” said O’Neill.
Sophomore members of the men’s team, Japrea “Prea” Pedeselaux and Jason Danso, expressed their thoughts on the cancelled season, how they plan to stay ready and how it impacts them. Freshman Sara Ahmadpour of the women’s team expressed the same thoughts as Pedeselaux and Danso.
For players who aspire to play at bigger schools, the cancellation delays the chance at getting noticed.
“I wanna play at a university so I’m working out, getting shots up and staying in shape to prepare for next year,” said Danso over text.
Staying active and prepared can be a challenge for athletes as they do not all have access to practice facilities.
“I train outside for the most part as much as possible or get in the gym when I can,” Pedeselaux said over text.
“We have been doing individual work, sometimes at the park and sometimes weights at my coach’s house. We also do Zoom conditioning once a week,” Ahmadpour said through email.
Not having sports can take a toll on athletes in other ways as well.
“Many of my teammates are motivated academically by athletics and not having it has caused a huge drop in motivation and mental health,” said Ahmadpour. She added, “Some of my teammates have had to move back home, get full time jobs and they are suffering without athletics.”
Lack of five-on-five game experience may lead to some rust when players return to basketball.
“Players will be a little rusty but some have been playing here and there in the parks so it should come back to some really fast,” said Pedeselaux.
While players do their best to stay active in the parks and with at-home workouts, those means do not offer what an indoor court and gym do. Players believe there is more Palomar could do to help.
“I feel like players should be able to use the gym if we’re tested and clear of COVID but only three to a hoop,” Danso said.
Ahmadpour added, “The only support that we receive is from our coaching staff. We feel completely alone at this time because of the lack of support from Palomar.”
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