By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
ITALY has been one of the countries hardest hit by the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic and Bahamian pro basketball player Dwight Coleby remained in the country as his Lega Basket Serie A was suspended amid the nationwide lockdown.
The US reported more than 82,400 COVID-19 cases as Italy’s death toll surged past 8,000 up to press time last night.
Coleby is a member of perennial league contender Dinamo Banco di Sardegna Sassari and, like the rest of the country, has been under a nationwide quarantine since March 9 to prevent the spread of the disease.
“I am holding up well, watching how I’m eating and working out twice a day. I wake up early every day. It doesn’t matter if I go to sleep late or not. It just depends. I don’t sleep that much,” he said in an interview with the Kansas Star.
“I get up, go work out, do some running in the parking lot, come back and try to eat some food, cook food. I try to watch basketball, watch movies, try to cook more food later on, get another workout in. I watch something, read something, try to do something.”
Coleby’s last game was on March 10 when he scored 11 points in a loss to San Pablo Inmobiliaria Miraflores Burgos in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that all shops except food stores and pharmacies as well as large gatherings have been closed or cancelled and restrictions tightened.
“Everything is fine here. Everything feels normal for me, staying inside the house,” Coleby said. “Everything is good. It’s not like I’m seeing sick people or dead people around me. It’s not like that.”
The Serie A championship, as well as all other sporting competitions, have been indefinitely suspended, per government regulations.
Coleby and most of his teammates reside at the same apartment complex. The club delivers groceries and supplies to the players on demand while the lockdown is in effect.
“We try to talk, but it’s at a distance. We don’t get close to each other. I do my stuff when no one is out there, basically. Every time there are empty streets, empty.Nobody is moving too much. They are staying inside. You’ve got people outside sometimes,” Coleby said.
“I think it could be everyone is taking it seriously over here and staying indoors. I don’t see any cars from the distance. You see people staying inside, sometimes on the balconies.”
In February, Coleby joined Dinamo Banco di Sardegna Sassari of Italy’s Lega Basket Serie A for the remainder of the season. The club is the current European Cup Champions. Coleby is with his third team in as many seasons and was averaging 11.5 points and a team leading 8.5 rebounds for Sigortam.net ITU in Turkey’s BSL League.
He previously spent the pre-season with Kalev/Cramo (KML) in Estonian league.
Coleby spent a portion of last season alongside his brothern Kadeem with the Akita Northern Happinets in the Japanese B-League following a short stint in Belgium with Liege Basket in Belgium’s Pro Basketball League (PBL). He played collegiate basketball at Ole Miss, Kansas and finished at Western Kentucky.
At this point, Coleby’s plan is to remain inside but to heed the advisement of the government and health care professionals.
“If we start to practice, I’ll go to practice. At the rate it’s going now (with numbers of infection and deaths), I don’t know about that happening. I think they still want the season to play on. It (season) ends in April.”
He said: “My advice is stay calm and obey the rules. If they say stay inside, don’t go out and touch people. It (social distancing) helps a lot. Some people are slow to the fact it is a serious virus and don’t take it seriously. See all the numbers. See the deaths.”