The year is only about a third way through and 2020 promises to be a rough one.
First, there were reports of the novel coronavirus that started in December and was rapidly spreading in January.
Also in January, the basketball world was left reeling with the death of Kobe Bryant, one of the greatest basketball players that ever lived. Now the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has affected almost every sport known.
Soccer, basketball, hockey, rugby, baseball, even the Summer Olympics in Japan have been impacted by the virus. Everything is shut down.
All pro and amateur leagues are dealing with suspended seasons. The NBA possibly continuing its season between May and June, while MLB starting its season — maybe — sometime after April.
Pro sports is also dealing with players and coaches testing positive for the virus.
One significant basketball player that comes to mind — who also happens to be my favourite — the Brooklyn Nets’ power forward Kevin Durant.
Again, all sports are taking extreme precautions to prevent spreading the virus, closing stadiums and arenas, with players staying home just like the rest of us. I even heard a rumour that soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo bought an island to quarantine his family. If this is true, then the lengths some players are taking to protecting themselves is beyond unmeasurable.
College sports seasons have also been afflicted.
The NCAA cancelled March Madness that was supposed to be held during this week until early April. Minor hockey’s coveted Memorial Cup was cancelled for the first time in its 102-year history.
Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) tournaments have also been impacted by the virus, and were either cancelled or postponed — including men’s basketball that was to be hosted by Humber — until things get better.
College players and coaches have been quarantined, with some feeling like this epidemic has put a dent in their sport and social activities.
Head coach Wayne Wilkins feels the same way.
“I wouldn’t say it isn’t affecting the season at all, but it has put a damper on preparations for next year.” He said. “Fingers crossed, we all get through this in a timely fashion and get back to business.”
Sports coordinator Brian Lepp agrees.
“This pandemic has affected the awards banquet”, he said. “It also hinders the recruiting process for our sports teams for the 2020-21 season.”
Updates around the world suggest this virus isn’t going to stop anytime soon
“Sports has come to an early close for everybody involved,” said Humber student and athlete Shae Phillips. “Hopefully, everything goes back to normal, but it will only get worse before it gets better, to be honest.”
Listen, I’ve been a big basketball fan for as long as I can remember, but this is new. Outbreaks happen within the world almost every year, but none have had this big of an impact. Just like millions of sports fans everywhere, I hope and pray that this outbreak stops, and things return to the way things were. Until then, we continue to watch television re-runs and play 2K.