Louisville basketball is going back to work.
It was business as usual for Louisville basketball on Monday- Or, at least by all accounts on social media.
After two members of the program tested positive for the novel coronavirus on July 6th, the team ceased all player work-outs and gatherings for two weeks, per athletic department protocol.
It remains unclear if players, staff members, or someone else within the program contracted the virus, but the team was ready to handle the situation after Athletic Director Vince Tyra and the rest of the athletic department laid out a detailed plan to handle social distancing and enforce rules during a worldwide pandemic.
“It was a matter of time before we saw positive tests, hence the protocols that we developed and are implementing,” Tyra told WDRB’s Rick Bozich.
Bozich spoke with rising sophomore Samuell Williamson about how the team was handling the time off, and he said he took things in stride.
“Obviously this is something that nobody wanted … this kind of a situation most athletes don’t have a whole lot of resources. But, I feel like this is a time to kind of take my game to another level.
“Some guys I feel like may use this time as an excuse, ‘I don’t have access to a gym and I can’t do this and I can’t do that.’ I just tried to use this time to get ahead of people.”
Regardless of the team or sport, outbreaks of the virus are going to happen. But Louisville’s players and staff appeared to be ready for the break.
However, it appears that everyone around the program is back to normal and that the team has resumed activities as planned.
Based on the pictures that Louisville basketball social media accounts and players have shared on personal accounts, the team has resumed activity as usual. Small groups of players working out and scrimmaging together.
Louisville basketball players appear to be taking things seriously amid the worldwide pandemic, and that could bode well for the Cardinals whenever the season gets started up.
With teams taking breaks that lasted three-plus months with no coaches around to hold them accountable, there was sure to be fall off or a bit of rust to shake off. The players who stayed with things and found creative ways to stay in shape and get their minds right during quarantine are going to be the ones who benefit the most when the ball goes in the air this season.
Players like Williamson, whose mother is a cancer survivor, aren’t making excuses. Fellow freshman David Johnson knows that this season is a chance to move into NBA lottery pick territory. Seniors Malik Williams, Carlik Jones, and Charles Minlend know this will be their last go-arounds.
There’s a lot at stake for Louisville basketball, and it appears the two-week break is just another small obstacle that the team knew it had to overcome.