OGDEN, Utah (ABC4 News) – Despite findings in the JAMMA study on Myocarditis, said to be a significant cause of sudden cardiac death in competitive athletes, basketball players at Weber State University are preparing for the beginning of the season.
D1 Athletes continue to practice during the pandemic, inside of the Dee Events Center on Weber State University’s Campus, but they say health concerns linger in the back of their minds.
“Being out here with 14 other guys and understanding that I’m not the only one in that position, I’m not the only one that’s feeling anxiety or uncertainty about the future or anything, it’s every athlete in America right now,” said Isiah Brown, point guard for WSU Basketball.
The WSU basketball coach says players who test positive for COVID-19 have to sit out for 24 days. Athletes are monitored regularly and if their heart rate is good, they can play. He says so far there are no concerns of Myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle.
“We love the game, so no matter what’s going on we’re going to play and if you have confidence in yourself you’re going to feel like you can make it regardless of what’s going on,” said Brown.
Point guard, Isiah Brown hasn’t gotten COVID-19 but says the fear of Myocarditis is there. Brown says many risks come with the game regardless of a pandemic.
“Eventually I won’t be able to physically play anymore and my time playing this game is going to be up, hopefully, a long time down the road from now,” said Brown.
Dancer, Elle Petersen says practice is the one thing that’s kept her sane during the pandemic. She hasn’t tested positive but there’s still anxiety about Myocarditis.
“It is a worry because I feel like anyone can get that and that is a scary situation,” said Petersen.
Petersen says COVID-19 changed everything for the team, but everyone takes precautions to prevent the spread, so they can keep practicing.
“We don’t have a sport right now to cheer for, so we’re just keeping up on our technique and our stamina, and just loving dance because I know every one of our teammates just kind of our goal this year was to be like, ‘you never know when you’re going to not be able to dance ever’,” she added.
Both athletes say it’s the passion of the sport that keeps them going right now, but the bigger picture of going pro is the light at the end of the tunnel.
The WSU basketball coach, Randy Rahe says he’s hopeful, the start of the season will be around the beginning of October. The athletics department is taking extra precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the basketball team has moved athletes off campus into apartments, to isolate.