Should we play basketball?

My response to the IHSA allowing basketball to be played

Should we play basketball?

The controversial announcement of the IHSA (Illinois High School Sports Association), to disregard Governor Pritzker’s safety guidelines surrounding winter sports has caused quite a stir within basketball teams and players throughout Illinois. Even though CPS has postponed the basketball season for city schools, the IHSA’s ruling is wrong.

I have loved the game my whole life. From my first moments in this world until now,  I have been dribbling a basketball. My grandpa played for the University of Kansas and my brother played at John Carroll University. The game is in my blood. 

Since Governor Pritzker has deemed basketball not safe, then what is the point of playing and risking catching and spreading COVID-19? If the state sees that basketball is a concern and a spreader of COVID-19, then why would we have 10 players on the court at a time pushing and running into each other? It is not smart. Right now, it is too much of a liability, especially when schools do not have the testing and resources that the NBA bubble had. 

I trust my Governor more than the organization that makes money off of high school basketball. If you were to say that the IHSA were putting the lives of the students first, I would be very skeptical. There is no way that while IHSA was making that decision, profit did not have anything to do with it. I would feel more comfortable listening to the Governor who is more concerned about everyone’s safety.

Do not get me wrong, I really want to have a senior season. I have been waiting for this year since freshman year. I wanted to finally be the leader of the team and try to take Jones basketball to places it has never been. However, if that conflicts with the lives of the players, coaches, refs, and even the people working the scores table, it is not worth it. 

It is important to understand that there is a pandemic going on, it is not a choice whether we get it or not. Gathering in an indoor gym for a contact sport, does not help prevent the virus from spreading. I understand other seniors’ reactions. It’s our last season to maybe earn a scholarship or for most seniors, to play competitive basketball. However, during a time like this, it is important to make sacrifices in order to save lives. As much as I and others want to play, if it risks my parents life, I do not want to be involved.

For this upcoming winter season, the IHSA is not making a smart decision to allow sports to play.  It is just way too risky for us to be playing and it would be smarter and safer to postpone the season till spring for now.