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Coronavirus ends career for senior basketball players

Wright State basketball | Photograph by Soham Parikh | The Wright State Guardian

Wright State basketball | Photograph by Soham Parikh | The Wright State Guardian

Wright State University says goodbye to eight seniors from the Men’s and Women’s basketball teams that had their college sports careers end due to coronavirus.

The coronavirus ended the season immediately following the Horizon League Conference tournament. As the men’s and women’s teams were gearing up to compete in the postseason, they received the shocking news that all postseason tournaments were canceled.

“Everyone was devastated,” said Katrina Merriweather, women’s head basketball coach. “We were practicing and preparing for post-season. It does hit a little harder for seniors, but the underclassmen were hurt for them as well,”

Merriweather has tried to help and offer guidance to the seniors. They have now graduated and are preparing to go into the next phase of their life.

“We helped them remember that everything happens for a reason…They are no strangers to adversity and they are very resilient. Focus on getting a great start in the next phase of [their] career,” said Merriweather.

Scott Nagy, the head coach of the WSU men’s basketball team, was frustrated with how the season ended. He understands that this situation wasn’t just unique to WSU, and everyone was dealing with these circumstances.

“It was a bizarre season and it’s very frustrating the way it ended…but everyone else is dealing with the same thing, and it’s certainly anti-climactic,” said Nagy.

Reflecting on the season

The men’s basketball team is trying to stay positive when reflecting on this past season. They are focusing on the good things that they accomplished and how far this program has come.

“We’ve built this program to be above average… We choose to look at the positive from the season instead of the negative. We had a really good season, even though we didn’t play how we wanted in the last game,” said Nagy.

The men’s team was also the regular season champion in the Horizon League, for the second year in a row.

“We did play most of the season and were able to capture a championship, so even though the season was cut short we have a lot of good that came from this past year,” said Loudon Love, who will be going into his senior season next year.

Both basketball teams felt compassion for their seniors having their careers cut short due to something out of their control. It is challenging to not always think of that when reflecting on this past season.

“It was tough not being able to watch our seniors walk across the stage. We still managed to let them know that we’re proud of them and thanked them for everything that they have done not only for our program but in our lives as well,” said Tyler Frierson, who will be going into her senior season next year.

Preparing for next season

This will change how some of the players approach next season, knowing the coronavirus could interrupt at any moment.

“This will definitely change my approach for next season. With this being my last year here at Wright State, and with everything that has happened, I will continue to work hard for this to be another great season,” said Frierson.

The players are extremely eager to get back to work, and are very excited for next season.

“I know I will, and believe my teammates will, approach this next season with a lot of enthusiasm. I think this is the most time off we have all had since we started playing basketball. We look forward to getting back to work,” said Love.

These unforeseen circumstances could potentially bring the teams closer together.

“I think we will definitely rally together once we can all return and be together as a team,” said Love.

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