The ongoing global pandemic has caused the entire world to go into lockdown and has effectively cancelled all sports events from going ahead for the time being. The lockdown has left many of wheelchair basketball’s premier athletes stranded in different countries during this time. Rollt.’s Dylan Cummings spoke with several top players from GB and USA who are on lockdown in Germany and Spain respectively, to see how they are dealing with lockdown.
How are you finding lockdown?
James MacSorley (2.0 / ADM Econy BSR ACE Gran Canaria / GB): “I’m finding it challenging in some respects but enjoying it in others. Obviously after three months of recovering from surgery and being off court, I want nothing more than to get back to playing, but I understand that self-isolating is for public health, which is one of the few things more important than basketball. On the other hand, it’s been a good chance to take a step back and use the time to work on some other things, pursue some other interests, and slow down a little bit.”
Rose Hollermann (3.5 / ADM Econy BSR ACE Gran Canaria / USA): “I have definitely had a lot of different emotions about lockdown. At some moments I find it nice to spend time crafting or doing projects that I otherwise wouldn’t have the time for and at other times I am extremely bored. However, no matter what, I recognise that it is an important thing to do for the world and I feel I am making the most out of this strange situation. I am always grateful for my three amazing roommates, but now more than ever.”
What are you doing to keep active?
James: “Our national team programme have done a really good job with staying in contact with us and giving us things we can do like training programmes, nutritional advice among other things, so we’re all doing what we can with the equipment we have to stay ready for when we can all get back on court.”
Rose: “Luckily our USA strength and conditioning coach has given me plenty of fantastic workouts that can be done at home! We have had to get a bit creative in our apartment with workout equipment, like using an umbrella handle and water jugs as a barbell for a shoulder press or incline press. I also crocheted some TRX bands that have been really nice to have during this time.”
How are you staying connected with friends and family?
James: “I am currently in Gran Canaria with my fiancée, and I am very fortunate not to be separated from her. I’m also keeping up with my family via regular video calls.”
Rose: “This has been an interesting time for social interactions because distance isn’t a factor when creating friendship groups. I ended up moving across the world from most of my closest friends and family members when I came to Spain. It has been so nice playing online games, like Scrabble, or video calling with those friends that are scattered across the world. Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Zoom and BlueJeans are a few apps that I have been using to either text or video call.”
Are you enjoying the time you have to rest and recuperate, or would you rather get back to your regular schedule?
James: “I’d love nothing more than being back on court doing what I love, especially since I haven’t played a game since December, but I’m also trying to be grateful for the chance to slow down, take a break, and have more time for the other things I enjoy.”
Rose: “I don’t think I have ever gone this long without playing basketball since I was fifteen. I miss the simple things about being in between those lines. Basketball has always been a way for me to release energy by pushing or for me to disappear for a little bit with shooting workouts. It’s nice to reset and rest with meditation or yoga. I cannot wait to be back on court with some of my favourite people.”
What’s the first thing you intend to do once lockdown ends?
James: “I’m going to head straight to the beach, have a nice meal and maybe a couple of drinks.”
Rose: “If I could get on a basketball court the first thing, I want to do is a shooting workout. I don’t think that will be the case so I will probably be trying to make it home to my family so I can spend this time with them. Basketball takes a lot of time away from family so I can’t wait to spend some uninterrupted time with them!”
Rollt. would like to thank all the athletes for giving their statements. Stay tuned to Rollt. for more exciting content during this period.
Interview: Dylan Cummings | Photos: Steffie Wunderl