Virtual Learning Temporarily Pauses Basketball Season


photo courtesy of Aminata Oulare

The Raiders face DeMatha

Munyu Njoya, student life editor

Returning from a year of virtual learning, the ERHS students were ecstatic to be back in the building, especially the athletes who now had the opportunity to return to their sports. The 2021-2022 boys basketball season started Monday December 6, 2021 against South River, kicking us off with a 68-39 win, all seemingly well and semi-normal. Progressing into the season, there were reports of multiple COVID cases, and by the Flowers game on December 14, a few players couldn’t participate because they tested positive.  

Cases spiked so much that on December 17, it was announced that students were to return to virtual learning until January 18, 2022, putting a pause on all athletic activities. When the season still looked promising the players were excited to get back together as a team, senior Abdul Kamara says “it felt great to come back and see my teammates and compete after a year. I missed the energy we had every time we stepped on the court and the love we had for each other.” Similar to Abdul, point guard Bryson Whitley adds “it [felt] great to be back playing again, I missed playing with my guys and seeing the crowd, I just missed it all.” 

Although it’s heartbreaking not doing what you love, returning to virtual learning was for the safety of everyone and shooting guard Dakari Enworom shares this view saying “it sucks really but it is for the sake of our health so I understand.” Seeing how this is deja vu from March 2020 when COVID first broke out at Roosevelt, there are definitely some unresolved feelings on virtual learning and senior Luca Pedone states “the worst part of being on hold is not knowing what comes next.” The uncertainty certainly creeps in, and it’s totally understandable.

It’s especially hard for the seniors who did not have a proper junior year and there is a chance the same might happen this year. “It still feels unreal that I am a senior and it’s my last year playing high school basketball,” Abdul explains. Luca adds to this, elucidating “Junior year is one of the most important years.” Although the current juniors on the team are missing a chunk of their year, he believes “everyone here is a hard worker and [he] knows they will find a way to overcome massive obstacles.” 

Despite the complications that have come up, it doesn’t stop these athletes from making goals for themselves; the obvious goal they all share is winning the state championship, but personally Abdul hopes to become a better leader, and “make everyone around [him] a better player, hoping for the best.”