Swish That’s the Winning Shot!


Annalise Brooke, Photographer

Swish that is the winning shot and the crowd goes wild! Now picture this, making the winning shot and there are only a few people in the audience, not all your friends and family are there to support you and cheer you on. Not as fun right? Well that is how this basketball season is going to be this year at Rocky Mountain High School. Because of the current pandemic sports have been one of the many things that has been adjusted to keep peoples’ safety in mind. To do so they are having an extremely limited number of spectators at gamesWe wanted to get the players’ point of view of how they have been feeling and doing during their new season. Some of the questions we asked were, how do you feel about having limited number of fans at the game?, how has Covid affected the scholarships?, and has playing sports helped your mental health in any way? 

The first player we talked to was Abby Blackburn, she is a senior at Rocky Mountain High on the Varsity basketball teamWhen we were talking about how she feels with less people being able to go to games she said, “ I mean for girls basketball there is not many people that go and watch the games, but I mean for my family and grandparents that want to go watch and support me, I’m kind of bummed they can’t come if we are still in the yellow zone when games start.” Having a lot of people watching can affect players in diverse ways. An example is Kaylee Caldwell, a sophmore on the basketball team at Rocky Mountain High, responded to the same question differently. “Honestly, I think it’s better, well at least for me personally, when I am hearing my family in the background their telling me to do all this stuff and then you know you have your coach yelling at you and your team mates yelling at you it adds on to the stress of like playing a game and you know obviously wanting to be good but for some people I could see how it could be upsetting like obviously you want your parents to be there and you know to watch you play so I think it’s a mix of emotions”. Some people do better when they listen to their head instead of a lot of yelling distracting them.  

A question many have been thinking lately is what will happen to players trying to get college scholarships for basketball this year if scouts cannot come watch the games? When we asked Kennedy Christi, a Varsity basketball player who is a junior at Rocky Mountain High, about this she told us, “I don’t think it will change that much just because they video the games and stuff so they can watch from there.” Thankfully, all games get recorded on film so it can be sent out to many scouts that can see how good players are doing even if it is not in person. Kaylee answered this question with, “I think, well, since they are not letting anyone in except the players, I think for the seniors and like people who are scouting them from colleges, it’s going to make it a lot more difficult because if they are not allowed inside of the games then how are they going to see besides the film” Seeing players on film can be different than feeling the energy they have during games in person. But with the restrictions, film is the best way to make sure amazing players get the opportunities they have worked so hard for. 

Sports can be an outlet for so many people. When there was a possibility there would be no sports this year people were terribly upset because playing and watching sports can be such a big part of life. When asked about how sports have helped their mental health, they all had similar answers. Basketball is what they turn to in order to forget about their problems. Kaylee said, “I mean it kind of clears your mind because you’re just focused on the game and you’re not focusing on whatever going on in your outside life and your focusing on what the next play is going to be, what’s going to happen next, who’s on your team, who’s doing bad just like all that stuff.” Being forced to focus on what is happening as a team keeps people from worrying about things going on personally. Abby said, “I think it has because it’s something you can always rely on, I guess like for me it’s like kind of my go to if I am ever sad like I will just go shoot or something just because it makes me feel happy.” And Kennedy also responded by saying, “Iyou’re bored or something or you have stuff on your mind you can just like go shoot or like get out of the house and get stuff out of your head.” All their answers show just how important basketball is in their lives and how it helps them clear their mind.  

 So, put yourself in their shoes. Imagine doing what you love the most and not having all the people you love able to watch you do it. This season will be quite different and hard to get used to. Players who normally rely on friends and family to keep them going and pushing themselves won’t have that. Family and friends who normally go and watch the games will be so disappointed to not be a part of the atmosphere that games have. Watching on film doesn’t give you the rush that sitting front row, at the game, watching the time go down as the teams desperately attempt to secure a win does. Would you still play the game if you didn’t have the cheering crowd there?