Chico State basketball is nearing a return


Chico State Athletics

Courtesy of Chico State Athletics Chico State men’s basketball Coach Greg Clink looks on at a game from the sidelines.

Just over a year ago, the California Collegiate Athletic Association made the decision to suspend all athletic activity due to COVID-19. Since then, schools have been working tirelessly to find a solution that would allow sports teams to return without compromising the health and safety of athletes.

Initially, it appeared as though there was no end in sight. Earlier in the semester, there was no indication that sports were nearing a return. However, Chico State’s Department of Athletics released a statement announcing the return of practice for Chico’s teams:

“The department of athletics has worked diligently on a plan that will allow very limited in-person activity later this spring. The plan does not include games or scrimmages,” according to a statement released by the athletic department. 

Players from both the Chico State men’s and women’s basketball teams talked about the planning that went into the return of practice, as well as Athletic Director Anita Barker’s role in the return, including men’s basketball coach Greg Clink. 

“Athletic Director Anita Barker has done a phenomenal job of making sure that we’re organized with this and that we’re doing it the right way,” Clink said. “She’s been working tirelessly to make sure that our athletes can get back to some activity by the end of the year.”

Courtesy of Chico State Athletics Chico State men’s basketball Coach Greg Clink can be seen on the sidelines at a game.

This plan gives teams about two hours per week to practice, allowing for limited activity. While this seems like a small number of hours, coach Clink has a plan for how he wants to spend it.

“We’ll be doing three different workouts a week, two of them will be in the gym doing skill development stuff with our players,” Clink said. “An hour will be with our strength coach working on strength and conditioning.”

Among the athletes, there is a mixed reaction. There is a consensus that the players are happy practice is coming back, but wish that they had more time than just a few hours a week to do it. Chico State men’s basketball guard Andrew Parker expressed his desire for more hours to practice.

Courtesy of Chico State Athletics Chico State guard Andrew Parker takes a picture at the half court line.

“Our team takes basketball really seriously,” Parker said. “It’s basically our life pretty much, so I think that we should at least try to get it a little longer.”

Chico State women’s basketball guard Jasmine Hess added her thoughts, saying how she wants more practice time, but also wants to be safe and cautious.

“If the county’s not doing good and it has to be that way then I’m not going to complain about it,” Hess said. “But it would be really nice to get back in and start playing like we used to.”

Courtesy of Chico State Athletics Chico women’s basketball guard Jasmine Hess takes a shot during a game.

The men’s and women’s basketball teams say they want to return to a normal routine because of how important basketball is to their lives, and how much it has impacted them not being able to play with their teammates. Hess has been in her hometown of Sacramento ever since COVID-19 first shut down in-person classes and all sports, and has missed being in Chico with the team.

“I’m so looking forward to just seeing everyone,” Hess said. “I’ve been wanting that so bad. I’ve been home since covid started happening. I haven’t seen anyone so I’m really excited just to get back.”

Parker is also looking forward to the environment and the team and wants to get back to the way it was before COVID-19 started.

“I’m looking forward to being around my team,” Parker said. “Having that family atmosphere and that Wildcat feeling.”

Connor McPherson can be reached at [email protected] @theGOATMcphers1 on Twitter.