A Different High School Basketball Season to Begin

by Marc Narducci | Jan 19, 2021
A Different High School Basketball Season to Begin
There are many who never thought we would get to this point, but the high school girls’ and boys’ basketball seasons will begin on January 26.
This will be a season like no other, including last year.
At least last season, teams got to play through the sectional championships before the pandemic put an abrupt halt to matters.  
This year there will not be a sectional championship. 
The NJSIAA announced there will be no state tournament. 
Teams will only play 15 games and a conference can hold an end of the year tournament, if it doesn’t exceed the 15-game maximum, but that is as far as it goes.
In a way this is a bittersweet season.
It’s a shame that a great team like Camden’s boys’ basketball squad won’t get the chance to compete for a state title.
Camden won the South Jersey Group 2 championship convincingly and many felt the Panthers would have won their first state championship since 2000 had there been a tournament.
And Camden would have been just as big a favorite if there were a state tournament this year.
That said, the goal now for all teams is to be able to complete the season.
That is not a given, especially with all unknowns of the coronavirus.
Remember, NBA teams are currently having their problems dealing with the virus.
Through the end of last week, there had been 13 games postponed due to the virus.
And this is from a league that has the resources to undergo daily testing for the virus. NBA teams have strict rules to follow and still, there are teams that have had to shut down due to positive tests and subsequent contact tracing. 
If the NBA has had to postpone games, how can high school basketball avoid the same fate? 
During the fall, several high school had to either postpone games and/or cancel the rest of their season due to the coronavirus. 
On the positive side, the youngsters are getting to have a season, or at least the chance to have one. 
It won’t be high school basketball the way we are used to seeing, but the fact that the NJSIAA and member schools are having a season is a positive.
There are many youngsters who could use some game tape of themselves playing to show to colleges, especially since many didn’t get to play much organized basketball in the offseason. 
It will be much different, not playing in a packed gym with rabid fans, but it certainly beats the alternative, which would be no season at all.

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One day we all hope it gets back to normal, but for now, the competitors should appreciate the chance to compete, something that should never be taken for granted.

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Author: Marc Narducci


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