GATES, N.Y. (WROC) — The high school basketball season is on hold in New York until at least January 4th. But that doesn’t mean that Section V players are sitting around and doing nothing.
About a dozen or so boys and girls basketball players have formed a group called “Our Chance” which is campaigning to have a season this year.
“This group is all about a chance,” says Leadership senior Maurice McKinney. “A chance for us to have a season and how much a senior season means to the class of 2021 kids. We just look forward to this year.”
The group is proposing that local teams occupy empty colleges over their winter breaks to create a bubble. The goal would be to play a ten game season after Christmas, concluding on January 31st.
“We have a great idea, a great plan that we’ve been working on. We have great athletes that know that COVID is a thing. We have coaches that will hold players accountable and makes sure that they follow the safety protocols,” says Gates-Chili senior Andrew Newcombe. “If you love something, you’ll do whatever you can to get it right.”
The group proposes that they pay for the plan with money saved by canceling other sports, donations, sponsorships, and live streaming fees.
“We need our chance to be able to play because seniors are not getting a lot of opportunities to be able to play college basketball and just be able to pursue what they want in life,” says Gates-Chili senior Spencer Glenn. “I feel like this year is very important for a lot of people.”
“Basketball is so important. Since I was five, the ball has been in my hands,” says McKinney. “I don’t want to say a way out, but [basketball] was one of the tools that I’ve used for life. Basketball has taught me so many things not only on the court but off the court.”
Our Chance is requesting to meet with Section V officials, athletic directors, referees, and local officials next week. They say that they have met with the athletic directors at their own schools who have indicated support for their plan.