COVID Takes Out Sports at Tri-C
By Michael Schraner
COVID-19 has brought uncertainty to sports, not just on the professional level but also on the collegian level. Many student-athletes plans are changing due to the pandemic, so I reached out to Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) shooting guard Anthony Bittala who is one of those many student-athletes.
To gain a better understanding of how the players feel about the season being canceled, I asked Bittala what he thought of the way Tri-C is handling the pandemic, he said, “I don’t think they should’ve canceled the season, a majority if not all the other teams in the conference are still having a season but they start January 1st.”
For Bittala, his plans are now slowed down, having his time set back due to the pandemic “COVID has changed my future plans for basketball. This year I’m taking the year off ” the 6’3’ wing said, “unless CSU (Cleveland State University) gives me a chance to walk on”
Some people may wonder if the thought of COVID-19 could maybe get in some people’s heads. It doesn’t seem to get to Bittala.
“If I’m being 100% honest I don’t even think of COVID while I’m playing, I just want to play basketball and I play every day without a mask.” When asked if he had any concerns when playing basketball, he responded, “the thing that is most concerning to me is not being able to play this year.”
Obviously with the canceled season and a lot of downtime you can find yourself getting out of shape easily. For Bittala, although he is no exception, it seems he hasn’t gotten too out of shape as a result of the lack of a season.
“I would say the only thing that COVID has impacted my performance is my stamina. Even though I can still run a good amount, I still get tired a little faster than before.”
The pandemic has made everyone appreciate life just a little bit more. Remembering how life was before COVID-19 it makes you realize how much you took for granted in everyday life. Bittala reflected on what he took for granted.
“The one thing I miss is just being able to walk around places with a free face and not covered with a mask that just irritates me. Also being able to be in the gym.”
Bittala isn’t just an athlete, he is a student-athlete. He has to focus on school, work, and getting better at the game he loves.
“So I’ve had classes online before which wasn’t too bad, but with having all my classes online and still having to work train and live my life it becomes difficult,” Brittala said when asked about how remote classes differ from in-person classes . “All my classes are math and accounting and they begin to all blend so I have to make sure to keep the information for classes separate”.