Lessons During A Season Deferred

George Murray dribbles the ball in a 2019-2020 game. Photo Credit: Oliver Guy '18

Back in December, we spoke to Clay Wawner, Residential Director and Head Boys’ Basketball Coach, about his hopes for the upcoming season. Now over a month later, we checked in with Clay and student-athletes Caelin Bradshaw, Braden Buchanan, and George Murray to hear how this unique season has progressed amid a pandemic.

Q: How is the season going?

Clay: The season is going well so far. The guys are working hard and improving each day and seem to be having fun on the court together. We have not been able to play games so far this year due to [the] COVID spread in Blaine and [the] surrounding counties, but we are having scrimmages each week which have been fun to be a part of. 

Braden: Our season has been off to an unusual start. We haven’t been able to play any games and, of course, we have to wear masks.

George: We’re very excited about Clay taking over as head coach this year. Since the beginning, he’s been pushing us to get better and I think everyone would agree that he’s made us all better. 

Braden Buchanan heads down the court in a 2019-2020 game. Photo Credit: Oliver Guy '18

Q: What challenges have you encountered? 

Clay: Each day presents new challenges in terms of who will be able to participate, but the players have been great about coming out each day and working hard. We are practicing and playing in masks which is uncomfortable, but everyone has adapted.

Caelin: It's been really challenging with Corona[virus] because we can't play games and sometimes it's hard to keep focused in practice when we aren't ever getting to actually play.

Braden: It has been difficult to hear that our games keep getting canceled but we have made the most of it.

Q: What are the highlights of the season?

Clay: The highlights for me have really been just getting to be together to practice and learn more about our team and watching the players learn more about the game. We have been having more formal scrimmages recently to create game-like situations. We have also started filming our scrimmages, so the players can watch themselves and we can use it as a teaching tool.

Caelin: One of my highlights of the season was our Blue v White scrimmage last Friday and watching one of the freshmen, Beckett, lead both teams in scoring. I'm really looking forward to playing games and hopefully competing in the district tournament.

Braden: We have been playing hard in practice and doing blue vs. white scrimmages, which everyone looks forward to every week. We still play with as much heart as if it were a real game. 

George: We’re very confident this year and feel like we can really compete if we do get to play some games. We can’t wait for what’s ahead, but right now we’re just working at getting better everyday. 

Caelin Bradshaw looks across the court in a 2019-2020 game. Photo Credit: Oliver Guy '18

Q: How have the basketball players improved and shown resilience?

Clay: Every day when the players come out to practice and work hard, they are showing resilience. Playing a fast-paced game like basketball is difficult with a mask on, and not knowing when and if we are going to be able to compete against another team is challenging, but nobody has complained, they have all kept a great attitude and understand the bigger picture.

Thanks for sharing, Clay, Caelin, Braden, and George! Stay tuned for the team’s future (maybe) games by checking the schedule.