During the 2019-2020 season, the varsity basketball team, led by head coach Jamal Adams ‘90, went 16-10. Finishing first place in a San Francisco tournament and earning third place in the Providence High School and Bosco tournaments, the Cubs eventually clinched a spot in the CIF Southern Section playoffs, losing to the Windward Wildcats in the first round.
Shortly after the end of the season, the spread of the COVID-19 virus forced Loyola’s campus to shut down, subsequently hindering Cub basketball players from beginning their training for the 2020-2021 season. Left with no choice but to have players train at home for the next season, Adams instructed players to record their workouts.
Adams said, “There was nothing we could physically do together as a team over quarantine. Nonetheless, players were given different workouts to complete at home and we tried to meet at least once a week.”
Senior shooting guard Reid Neumann said, “We had weekly workouts which we filmed. The workouts included different basketball drills, strength and conditioning, and even a ‘Mile Monday.’ After posting our workouts, we would send our videos to the team group chat.”
Currently, all returning varsity and junior-varsity players have been training as one team. However, players haven’t been able to try out for the teams yet, and the official varsity roster has still not been released.
Adams said, “It has been very hard to adjust. I have not been able to see which players work well together, and I do not know yet if some players have gotten taller or become more physical. However, as coach, my job is to continue to encourage my players to work hard at home to improve their game.”
Despite these setbacks, coaches and players have used the Zoom platform to sustain a sense of camaraderie with the teammates in preparation for the Cubs’ first game, which is scheduled for March.
Senior guard Dylan Tracy, “Over quarantine, our coaches have done a great job keeping in touch with us and holding us accountable. We’ve had weekly zoom meetings and we are assigned basketball drill assignments throughout the week. The Zooms were extremely important in developing our team chemistry, especially with many new members.”
Having trained virtually for nearly five months, the Cubs now await their return to play.
Neumann said, “I can’t wait to put on my jersey again and get back on the court. Through our virtual workouts, I have been able to stay in shape, get stronger, enhance my shooting, and sharpen my dribbling agility. I feel more than ready to start our season, whenever that may be.”
Adams stated, “So much is unknown. It has been hard to build a rhythm and endure. At the same time, however, it is only September, and with four starters returning and a promising set of juniors, I am optimistic for this team’s future.”