How Covid Impacts Men’s Basketball


Brian Murphy

Jesuit looks to put tough losses behind them and finish the season strong.

In a season full of unpredictable events, the varsity men’s basketball team ran into the hardest obstacle yet. During winter break, they played in the Les Schwab Invitational, against some of the best local and out-of-state teams. After the break, Jesuit tested the entire student body, during which many players on the varsity roster tested positive for Covid. This put the team in a predicament to find enough people to play games. 

There are certain restrictions when it comes to players who contract Covid. Currently, it is a five day quarantine and a negative Covid test to return to practicing with the team. 

The impact of Covid on players is undeniable. A junior guard, Owen Davies, contracted Covid and had to quarantine for 10 days before returning to play. 

“It was a bad experience. Getting back into the game was hard because I didn’t feel physically ready,” Davies said. “It was also hard mentally, to be able to know all the plays when I returned.”

These safety struggles may be the reason that the Crusaders have fallen to a record of 8-8. With tough losses to strong teams, morale was an important factor. 

“Recently we haven’t been winning the most games, but I think our team does a good job of having each other’s backs and being supportive,” Davies said.

In order to fill in the spots for players who contracted Covid, the varsity team decided to call up JV player Henry Smith. As a six-foot junior, he entered the team with a point to prove. 

“I was pretty surprised when I got moved up,” Smith said. “I knew that I had to take my chance and play well.” 

Smith lived up to the expectations as his level of play continued to impress. Even when players began to return from protocols, he stayed on the varsity team as a scoring option. Davies commented on how Smith impacted the team. 

“When Henry came in his main role on the team was to make shots and play hard, and I think he’s done just that,” Davies said. “I think he was a great addition and he brings positive aspects to the team.” 

Coach Gene Potter also emphasized the role that Smith played when he was moved up. 

“We needed some outside shooting and Henry was shooting the ball really well for us, so we were hoping he would come and extend the floor on the offensive end,” Potter said. 

Smith attributes his strong form to the coaching staff. 

“They trusted me,” Smith said. “They gave me a chance and played me, and it gave me confidence for future games.”

Even with difficulties of playing basketball in a pandemic, the varsity men’s basketball team has persevered through adversity. They hope to improve their record for the remaining part of the season.