Chargers Basketball Coach: ‘…we have to have a season’

The COVID-19 pandemic brings uncertainty to the future of GHC sports but Chargers basketball fans will be happy to hear that the coaches are doing their utmost to keep the season rolling.

Men’s and women’s basketball coaches, J.J. Meritt and Brandan Harrell are both taking similar approaches to the uncertainty and trying to fight it with well timed planning.

“My challenge is to not go too slow, but not too fast,” Merritt said.

As the men’s basketball coach, Merritt lives next door to the players’ apartments and the assistant coaches live in the apartment with the players. Merritt said that players are allowed to roam around each other’s apartments and leave to eat but they discourage going out for any other non-necessities.

As a precaution, the men’s basketball team is tested for Covid-19 regularly ever since a Covid scare at the start of the season. The team has recovered and coach Merritt is doing everything he can to keep it that way.

“They’re college students… we have lives ourselves,” Merritt said, ”I tell them this, ‘if you want to have a season, you want to get recruited, you want to move onto the next level, we have to have a season.’”

In addition to living in a bubble, the team has to wear masks during weight training and whenever they are in a public space. Although it is not required, Merritt said that any of the students who want to wear a mask during practice are welcomed to do so. Merritt and the other coaches also wear masks during practice.

“You think back to the last six months, everything has been uncertain … it has given us some encouragement and some confidence to see MLB get through their season,” women’s basketball coach, Brandan Harrell, said.

Harrell is doing just as much to protect his team from losing time and has been very cautious with his team. Lady Charger players are sanitizing their hands every break in practice and are frequently reminded not to touch their face during practice and training.

“As a school, we fall under so many different organizations and different levels of government. Our school is under the USG, but each of our five campuses is under five different local governments. So we got a lot of people telling us what to do or what not to do,” Harrell said.

Currently, a decision has not been made about whether the games will be viewable in-person or only online. Possible plans involve answering a questionnaire, temperature testing, social distancing and decreasing occupancy.

Both coaches want to have an audience for the games and are confident in the players’ abilities and their respect for the situation.