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Area basketball players 'devastated' about season start being pushed back again

Kids remain hopeful they will play this winter
Posted at 9:43 PM, Jan 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-13 23:11:23-05
Basketball players "Devastated" as season start is pushed back again

Ask most any high school basketball players in Michigan how they feel today and the answers will be similar.

"Sick," Benton Harbor senior Kentrell Pullian said. "Devastated!"

"I was devastated," Forest Hills Northern senior Trinidad Chambliss said. "It is definitely disappointing."

Players were hoping to start full practice on Saturday and games on January 22. Instead, state orders have extended the "pause" through the end of the month.

Teams will be allowed to practice without contact beginning on Saturday.

While it is not what they hoped for, it does give players the chance to get back in the gym with their teammates and coaches.

"It means a lot, especially my senior year," Chambliss said. "Just being with the guys, hanging in the gym, and if we do get a season it will just be a memory that we will never forget."

Meanwhile, Chambliss and Pullian are able to work out with small groups at their AAU facility, UTS Elite, in downtown Grand Rapids.

"Back before all of this was going on, our groups were 14, 15, 16 kids," UTS Elite director Marcus Lancaster said. "But now I'm trying to limit it as small as possible, no more than three. Just trying to continue to keep these guys, these young ladies in the gym staying focused, staying ready."

The AAU spring basketball season normally begins at the end of March, but Lancaster says the chance of it moving up is becoming more likely.

"I think it is going to be getting started probably in February," Lancaster stated. "Once the governor makes one more decision, pretty much everybody is going to go that route. If the governor continues to shut Michigan down, we are going to Indiana."

Many seniors want the chance to show they can play at the next level.

"Definitely frustrating, because recruiting has been slow for everybody in the class of 2021," Chambliss said. "But I feel like all of us in 2021 should just keep training, if we get that offer, that opportunity, so just keep pushing."

His Huskies team is scheduled to begin its non-contact practices at midnight on the January 16.