Sunday would have been selection Sunday for the NCAA tournament, but that, and every other sporting event has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
In Michigan the state tournament in boys and girls’ basketball was stopped short in an effort to stop the rapid spread of the virus. Many local teams still going strong in the playoffs can do nothing now but wait and hope.
“It’s unusual. Obviously, nobody has ever experienced anything like this,” said Kyle Theisen, the head coach for Midland Dow’s girls basketball.
Like many high school sports teams in the state, Midland Dow’s girls basketball team is sidelined.
“You go from being with the team every single day for the last four months, now I can’t have any contact with the team for three weeks, until April 6,” Theisen said.
On Thursday, the team was getting ready to play in a Division One Regional Championship game. Hours later, the Michigan High School Athletic Association suspended activities in all sports, to fall in line with Governor Whitmer’s decision to close schools until April 5th. The move made to deter the spread of the coronavirus.
“Obviously there was a bunch of mixed emotions from myself and the girls. We had a quick team meeting in the gym and some girls were rightfully emotional. Some of them were angry. Some of them didn’t know how to react. So, we just tried to get everybody focused on the fact that they’re not canceled right now, everything is just still suspended,” Theisen recounted.
Hope is all any team has right now. Coach Theisen said he doesn’t care if they eventually play in a gym with no fans, he just wants his team to get back on the court again.
“We don’t want it to end with this kind of empty feeling of knowing that we were having a great season and we think we have a chance to win that game Thursday night, and then we don’t get a chance to find out. It would be kind of cool to have that chance again. That’s all we want, is the ability to play it out on the court and not wonder, what if.”
Until then, they just have to wait. In addition to games being postponed, all athletic activities are halted. That includes practices, scrimmages, strength training and conditioning.