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The Shortest Basketball Season Ever?
Written by Jimin Park | Published. 2021.04.07 19:35 | Count : 591

The COVID-19 situation has changed a lot since the initial breakout, and so did the school's learning schedule. As the positivity rates increased during the first few months after the breakout, including the mass infections in Daegu, everybody, including most of my friends and my parents, thought that we would not be going back to school in August. However, as national COVID-19 cases went down drastically during summer break and after the government decided to ease social distancing measures phase one, students were safe to go to school daily, and therefore the athletics season wasn't canceled. Moreover, this meant one thing to most of the boys in my grade- that the school’s basketball season would be approaching shortly.

[Students playing basketball. Photo Credit: Jimin Park]

Fast forward to a few months after, not much has changed except that the school curriculum changed to a mix of hybrid and offline learning. Luckily, the national COVID-19 situation was settled, which meant that the in-school basketball season would not be canceled, which was a relief to us students. COVID-19 guidelines were strictly enforced during the first few weeks of the school basketball season. It was disappointing that there were no scrimmage matches or any other activities that required physical contact, and there were no games at all. However, we focused on developing our skills as individual players, such as fundamental skills like dribbling and shooting. As basketball is an indoor sport, it made it much more dangerous for us to play indoors since there is always a chance that it might spread in our school community. Masks had to be worn at all times, and we had no water breaks since it would be the time everybody would normally take off their mask to drink water. Instead, we were advised to drink water in a little bit of time as we had to wait in a line after our turn in the drill, which also used physical distancing. During the drills, we had to have a bit of space between players waiting on the line, and almost no drill involved direct physical contact. Everything was going well under the strict regulations until the government upgraded the quarantine level to phase two, where we used hybrid learning. During hybrid learning, we sometimes came to school and sometimes did not, and had practice only the days we went to school. 

However, the COVID-19 situation was not getting any better. There used to be around 100 cases per day, which increased rapidly again on a national scale to have around 300 cases per day. Soon after, I found out that the quarantine phase was conclusively upgraded again to level three, making it impossible for us to go on campus. It also made it impossible to have practice for the next few months, making the season the shortest season ever. William Kim, one of the co-captains for the basketball team, had some words to say about this situation. He said,“Because the season was so short, it felt like we did nothing. As an athlete who loves basketball, this was my opportunity to show the coaches what I can do. However, COVID prevented me from doing it. Also I had various goals related to the basketball athletics, however, I only was able to achieve only some of it. It was just awful to have a short athletics season, especially for a short that I love the most.”

[The basketball gym in Chadwick. Photo Credit: Jimin Park]

Even though we gathered up for one last practice, it was not enough to cover the students' demands waiting on the season for almost a year. Even though we had a basketball season, there were more off-days than the opportunity to practice. This has disappointed me and most of my peers in the basketball team. Before the outbreak of COVID-19, there used to be friendly matches and competitive matches against other schools and amateur teams, but due to that we lost the opportunity to compete and fight for the school. Going on away games to school far away, or attending tournaments hosted by other schools was the greatest loss, since those were the times where the players bonded with one another, competing together with one goal: to win for the school. Even though we have lost opportunities to compete, I will come back ready for the following year's season, hoping we can have a regular, competitive season.


Jimin Park
Grade 9
Chadwick International School

Jimin Park  student_reporter@dherald.com

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