Texas basketball head coach Shaka Smart went into detail about his battle with COVID-19.
Texas Longhorns men’s basketball head coach Shaka Smart unfortunately tested positive for COVID-19 last week. The program was no stranger to being affected by the virus, having a game against Kentucky canceled last week due to health and safety protocol. Smart made the announcement via Twitter that he had contracted the virus and that he would be taking the proper precautions to ensure the health and safety of all involved.
He didn’t go into too much explicit detail regarding his symptoms, but he noted that the virus was no joke. “This was not a walk in the park for me, not saying it has been for anyone else,” stated Smart. “When you go through that kind of stuff, it certainly swirls some things around your mind.”
Texas basketball’s struggles with COVID so far this season
The Longhorns fell one spot to No. 6 in the national rankings after suffering a tough blowout loss to the No. 2-ranked Baylor Bears in Monday night’s Big 12 battle. Smart had just rejoined the team the day before and had missed the Longhorns’ game against the Oklahoma Sooners in which they lost by one point. The head coach wasn’t the only person to miss the game due to COVID-19. Starters Jericho Sims and Courtney Ramey, as well as key substitute Brock Cunningham, were also out with positive tests.
Still, the Texas basketball program was never officially put on pause, which is strange given that some programs have shut down for much less. The team only had eight scholarship players available for the Oklahoma game that took place on Jan. 26, barely beating the Big 12’s minimum of six.
There doesn’t seem to be much consistency in how schools and programs are navigating the health and safety protocol this season. It’ll be interesting to see how the NCAA approaches the national tournament with so many teams involved. Either way, we hope the health and safety of all players, coaches, staff and spectators are prioritized.
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