COVID-19 stopped everything but the women’s basketball team

Kailya Jackson, senior guard high fives former head coach Kevin Lynum at Florida game last year. Photo courtesy FAMU Athletics

The Florida A&M women’s basketball team is preparing for an unimaginable season. Athletes all over the world are adapting to a new “normal” that has captivated and commanded everyone’s attention. Every athlete’s bitter-sweet relationship with thisupcoming season has now become an uncertain situation.

The 2020-2021 basketball season is currently in limbo and the unknown has caused great anxiety.

“COVID-19 has affected my basketball career by not allowing us to have a full season. Still to this day we do not know if we are even having a season,” Gabby Harris, a first-year transfer athlete said.

Harris, explains how she transferred with the hope of completing a full season as a Rattler. This unexpected turn of events has caused a lot of the players to worry about the fate of their season.

Harris recently moved from New Jersey with the mindset that she was going to play this season. Due to several months flying by with COVID-19, Harris and many members on the basketball team were initially hopeful.

As Florida’s pandemic rate became more alarming, the hope began to fade away at the beginning of the semester. However, this did not stop the Rattlers. The world may have come to a partial shutdown but the hard work that is put into pre-season for the women’s basketball team has continued.

“If we don’t have a basketball season I am going to be pretty upset because as a graduate student I only have two semesters here then I will be done. This is my last year playing ball so hopefully COVID doesn’t affect the season that bad,” Harris added.

The women’s basketball players still work hard during training and practices to make sure they are prepared for the rivalries ahead. COVID-19 has taken a lot away from their season, but their natural athletic drives and work ethics are something that cannot be touched.

Regan Anderson, a junior, who played on the women’s basketball team last year expressed she feels sad for the players.

“I know I would feel a little discouraged if I were still playing. It would make me feel like my progression was not being measured,” Anderson said.

Anderson says that she enjoyed her time as a Rattler. The traveling and experiences she received is something she will remember forever. Her mindset was to work hard in practices so she could have better performances during games. Her previous experiences from the women’s basketball team, are ones she will not forget.

“I am grateful for the time I had on the team. I am glad I did not take the moments for granted because now the many experiences we were granted, probably will not be the same anytime soon,” Anderson added.

The team currently practices in small groups, due to university policy. They try their best to function as if the climate were the way it used to be.

Kailya Jackson, a senior athlete on the women’s basketball team, says information will change throughout their season. Jackson believes the team needs to go with the flow and stay prepared for what may come.

“There has been a lot of change with the protocol that is requiring us to be flexible. Just like the progress of the virus, you never know what is going to happen next. You have to be ready to adjust,” Jackson said.

Regardless of what is decided about this season, the Rattlers will be prepared to strike. The team will continue to push forward together through this uncertain time.

“This pandemic has made me cherish everything. I am really optimistic because it could all be taken away so quickly,” said Jackson.