Spring sports obviously got the short end of the stick as it pertains to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but all high school athletics have still been feeling the effects.
The Gulfport boys basketball team wasn’t prepared to wait any longer, making the most of the MHSAA June 1st restart with its first socially distanced practice of the summer on Monday.
Head Coach Owen Miller says he took temperatures at the door and only admitted one player in the gym at a time.
The coaching staff can’t issue any equipment, can’t wash clothes, or allow the players to scrimmage, all while keeping them six feet apart.
Monday’s practice marks the first time the Admirals have been together in close to three months, making it an emotional return to the court for coaches and players. Shooting Guard Jacob Snell said, “This feels like family. Everybody feels like family and I feel like without them, I just kind of feel like a part is left off.”
Point Guard Davion Henry said, “I mean it’s been crazy, like everybody want to work hard and get back in the gym, put the work in because once you get out of basketball for a long time you want to come back and put hard work in cause like everybody love the game of basketball. When you get away from it for a long time you start to see like what it really means to you.”
Coach Miller said, “A lot of emotion today and really last night it kind of hit me with being able to get back in the gym, kind of what’s going on with our country right now with what happened in Minneapolis and a lot of emotion right now for us. And this is a way to kind of break that and get back to normal a little bit.”
Indoor high school practices must be kept to a maximum of 20 people. Outdoor is 50.