No Home For The Holidays For Athletes

Nicole Manall , Staff Writer

When most students pack their bags and head home for the holidays, student-athletes are usually left behind to find other ways to enjoy the season. Even though the doors to the dorms are locked and the campus is closed, athletes might not have the opportunity to head home for the holidays because of games and practice schedules over both the Thanksgiving and winter breaks.

“Our winter break is pretty tough,” said junior guard, Elijah Bailey. “Not only is it the climax of the season, but while everybody gets a month off for break, we only get seven days off.”

Despite vacation being cut short, winter break is a great opportunity for the teams to bond with one another.

“Even though the intensity of the games increases over winter break, we try to do fun activities that are not basketball related such as going to the movies and bowling to switch things up a bit,” said Senior guard Alexandria Kerr.

Both men’s and women’s basketball have several tough conference games during the winter break between Dec. 30 until Jan. 19. During this time, not only do teams have to compete, but they also have to participate in mandatory practices.

“We definitely have more gym time,” said Bailey. “Instead of once a day it’s now twice a day, and we lift more weights throughout the week.”

The university allows a select number of athletes and international students to stay on campus, but the options for sustenance are few. Bartels is closed for a majority of the break, while other dining options have limited hours. Thankfully, the men’s team takes the time to get dinner together as well as spend some quality bonding time off the court.

“Coach takes us out for a lot of meals as a team since Bartels is closed until the track team comes back in the beginning of January,” said Bailey. “It’s nice that we are taken out for every meal and spend time with one another.”