Markus Spiske, Unsplash
The NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball 2020 fall season has been cancelled this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to help protect student athletes from the virus. In a year that seems like it will ever end, the season’s cancelation affects all of the schools in the program including California State University, East Bay’s Pioneers.
After finishing up last season with an 17-13 record with impressive wins against San Francisco State University and California State University, Los Angeles, CSUEB ended up falling short against #4 ranked University of California, San Diego by a final score of 86-82 in the semifinals in the CCAA tournament.
“Sitting in the locker room after that game with my fellow seniors, I kind of sat back and thought about it, we left absolutely everything out on that floor and I was incredibly proud of how we played our season, the ball didn’t bounce our way on that final shot and even with so much heartbreak I felt content.” said Trent Warren, a now graduated CSUEB basketball player.
“That game was neck and neck for 40 minutes and it took a last second shot to beat us. We drove all the way back from San Diego the next day and literally the next week there were rumors of schools being moved to online and then we got the news.” Warren said when asked about the days following the loss
This pandemic is now officially the worst disease outbreak since the 1919 Spanish Flu epidemic. COVID-19 now has a higher death toll than World War One.
In California, there have been approximately 707,000 reported cases of COVID-19 and roughly 13,000 have died.
One possible way that college basketball can still happen this season would be in a “bubble” format. The National Basketball Association decided to finish the season after setting up a bubble at Walt Disney World in Bay Lake, Florida. In the bubble, the league was able to complete the remainder of the regular season and the league semifinals are currently underway. Since the NBA bubble was set up, there have been no positive cases inside the campus.
With the team’s season currently on hold, CSUEB Men’s Basketball coach, Bryan Rooney is doing what he can to prepare in the event that the team can play this season.
“With our team right now, we are constantly emphasizing the importance of controlling the controllable. The biggest focus and aspect our student-athletes can control is their effort in the classroom. I have been very proud of how hard they have been working to get the semester off to a good start,” Rooney said.
Rooney has also made efforts to keep his family in a positive mindset during the pandemic.
“We have talked with our children quite a bit during this difficult time about finding a silver lining and the time with family has definitely been ours. I also think it has given our kiddos even more appreciation for their mom/my wife, who is a nurse, and all health care workers-truly heroes.” Rooney said.
CSUEB continues to do what is necessary to keep students and staff safe from COVID-19. Unfortunately, delaying or cancelling this season is, at this time, the best action for the school and, more importantly, the student athletes.