Basketball postponed due to high risk

CPS cancels all winter sports for time being


Photo courtesy of Tommy Cleland ’21

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) officials postponed Boys’ and Girls’ Basketball seasons, one day after the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) announced they would go forward with a winter basketball season. 

This announcement came before Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced on Nov. 17 that all indoor winter sports will be put on hold. IHSA has put a few sports on pause. 

“Knowing our sport, which is very much contact, you’re going to be in people’s faces, you’re going to be breathing on people,” said new boys basketball coach Richard Kavalauskas.

“People are going to touch, it’s just going to happen. So, I get where the Department of Health and the governor are coming from.”

The girls’ basketball coach, Nicholas Teich, gave similar sentiments about the importance of the delay. 

“I defer to the Illinois Department of Public Health, and the governor’s office,” said Teich. “I’m a high school basketball coach. If they say it’s not safe, then I agree with them it’s not safe.”

However, the announcement does come with a significant amount of disappointment for the teams. The teams had already prepared in case the season would happen. 

“I think everyone took it pretty hard because we were doing workouts, and preseason stuff to get back together, and to get that team chemistry going again,” said girls’ basketball team captain Bailey Zalewski ‘21. “Everyone was dying to get back on the floor and have some competition.” 

Despite the postponement, both teams have kept up their team culture by contacting each other while the delay is in place. 

“We switched over to Google Classroom, we go to that Google Classroom to have Google Meets there,” said boys basketball team member Nikola Rosic ‘21.

The boys’ basketball team is using this system to make sure everyone on the team is communicating with each other to keep up morale throughout the delay.

“We talk about what could happen in the future and talk about what we’re doing personally right now,” said Rosic. “So you don’t want to stay off track, you still want to be committed to the team.” 

The girls’ team, to preserve unity throughout the delay, has organized small, distanced meetups.

“I’m always trying to check up on all of them right now,” said Zalewski. “I do want to start trying to plan something for us to get together because we had to eventually stop outside workouts since it’s starting to get a little cold. I am starting to miss them a little bit so we’re going to definitely try and plan some things we’ll see each other.”

The coaches said they are optimistic that they will start competing again at a later date when COVID-19 cases are down. 

“We’re keeping our fingers crossed that it’s not completely taken away,” said Kavalaouskas. “Right now there’s hope that there’ll be a spring season or maybe even push it to summer.” 

For now, the basketball players will still continue to practice on their own as they wait for the final decision on the future of the basketball season to be made. 

“I did send workouts they can do at home, and I know a lot of them are pretty good about doing them and are doing them because we want to keep in shape,” said Zalewski, “if, for whatever amazing reason, we’re called back and we can start up the season.”