THE University of the Bahamas Mingoes men’s basketball team has started conditioning in preparation for the upcoming season — whenever it happens.
Following COVID-19 protocols, the team has been working out on Goodman’s Bay during the morning. Under the eye of head coach Bacchus Rolle, assistant coach Lavar Johnson and head athletic trainer Sasha Johnson, the team has been focusing on building conditioning and endurance.
The team hit the beach Wednesday morning going through foot drills, core building and aerobic endurance by running the beach.
Coach Rolle said the team is very excited about being back to basketball.
“It feels really good to be back to our normal in that we out conditioning and knocking it out early in the morning and get it out of the way. Some of the guys haven’t worked out that much during the quarantine and lockdown so they are feeling the burn. With the guys being young and resilient, we anticipate them bouncing back very quickly.”
He added the team is going to change a bit for the better. “We are looking good this year with some good recruits,” he said. “This isn’t even the entire team and we are having a good time getting back in shape.”
As the country returns to the new normal, UB Athletics has instituted strict rules in relation to COVID-19.
“We are in UB Athletics’s phase three that allows the athletes to participate in outdoor workouts,” Johnson said.
“We are making sure they observe social distancing, no hand shaking, every athlete brings their own water bottle and towel. We want to protect them from the COVID-19.”
Phase three of UB’s return to play protocol that follows worldwide best practices allows for small group training with minimal contact. This phase also calls for student-athletes, coaches and trainers to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms along with constant temperature monitoring. There is also no contact between athletes in phase three.
The final phase - phase four - allows for full team training with no restrictions on contact. Temperature monitoring will continue.
Student-athletes can share equipment but will continue to use personal water bottles and towels.
During this final phase, equipment will also be disinfected on a rigorous and continuous basis.
Johnson added that they are very strict in the application of these protocols.
“The well-being of the athlete is paramount in this case,” she said. “We don’t want anyone to get sick so we are complying as strict as possible with the guys. Of course this is a new normal for them so it’s taking some adjustment and constant reminder but they are being very compliant.”
The Mingoes compete in 11 disciplines, including men’s and women’s track and field indoor/outdoor, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s golf, women’s volleyball, women’s softball, men’s basketball, men’s soccer, and men’s and women’s judo.