Boys Basketball to Start Play in Two Weeks


Nick Bumgardner, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

In two weeks, Notre Dame’s boys basketball team plans to push ahead with their 2020-21 season in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic…with some noticeable changes.

“Preparing for the season has looked a whole lot different than how it has in the past,” said Head Coach AJ Alexander.  

“With COVID-19, there are a lot of protocols we need to follow in order to ensure the safety and health of our players and coaches.  Despite the wild times, we still have prepared with the mindset of heading into a regular season even though it looks different on the outside,” he explained.

Masks, social distancing, and Zoom calls have become commonplace in classrooms and workplaces across the country, but how does a basketball team adapt?

“A lot of our communication is via email, our group chat messenger, and then a couple Zoom calls in the early off season,” Alexander said.

“The communication aspect when the quarantine first began was a challenge at first, but I think we finally have the puzzle pieces fitting together.  When we instruct in person, coaches and players always have their masks on, and we do our best to keep our social distance at all times,” he added.

Preseason training has been alive and well for the past two weeks.

In pods of 10, the team has been able to lift, condition and work on their shooting and ball handling in anticipation of their December 1 tipoff.

The team is tested for COVID-19 weekly, wearing masks at each practice, and limiting unnecessary, outside contact whenever possible.

These measures ensure the team stays ahead of the curve while still being safe.

“Our first practices are November 23.  Teams will be chosen quickly yet truthfully.  We need to get to work because the next time we blink, our first game will be here,” Alexander explained.

With a handful of seniors returning, a highly-touted junior class looking to make a splash, and the season just around the corner, emotions are running high in the locker room. 

“Expectations are sky high.  Every practice, every game, we will work to be the best team on the court,” said Alexander.

Adding to Alexander’s comments, junior bigman Braedon Curtin said his team “has the potential to do really well this year.”

“We have been working really hard as a team, but it’s been different this year because of the pandemic.  It’s been weird working out in smaller groups instead of with everybody, but when the time comes for us all to come together, I think we’ll do very well,” he added.

With COVID-19 continuing to bear down on the Green Bay community, Alexander has promoted optimism as the key to getting through these challenging times.

“As we move forward, we will continue to remain optimistic and vigilant and take each day as an obstacle we will conquer together,” he remarked.