Seniors from Cashion, KHS hoping they get to fulfill state tournament dreams
Cashion basketball players were sitting in coach John Hardaway’s classroom late Thursday morning having some lunch and watching game film. They were just a few
They were just a few short hours away from doing something no Cashion boys basketball team had done in 24 years: Play in a state tournament game.
Then the news broke. Players saw it on their phones. Coaches got the word and confirmed it.
The 2020 state basketball tournaments for Classes 2A-6A in Oklahoma had been indefinitely postponed.
“It’s a real bummer. We’ve been working so hard this whole year for this opportunity,” said Cashion senior Alex Nabavi. “We’ve been looking forward to this since we lost last year and with us being the first team since ’96 to make the state tournament, it just really sucks.”
The sentiment was echoed by players and coaches statewide.
The OSSAA made the decision around noon Thursday to postpone the state games…just two hours before the first games were to tip off.
Some teams - like Cashion - were on the verge of leaving for their game.
Others from much further distances had made the trip on Wednesday night.
Still others were en route to their destination.
All were told to head home or stay home.
The move was one of several similar instances nationwide that began to fall like dominoes. Most of it started after news of two NBA players from the Utah Jazz testing positive for the while in Oklahoma City coronavirus Wednesday (See story on Page 1).
Not long after, the NBA suspended it season indefinitely. On Thursday, collegiate
On Thursday, collegiate conference went from having limited fans allowed into their basketball tournaments to calling them off altogether.
Soon after that, the NCAA announced it was not only cancelling its winter championships, but also those for the spring sports as well.
Like Oklahoma, the Texas UIL postponed it basketball state tournament.
At best, it leaves players in limbo, not knowing when they’ll get to play in the state tournament.
“I’ve been working my whole life for this one opportunity and I know a bunch of the guys on my team have as well,” Nabavi said.
The OSSAA will have a myriad of scheduling conflicts in its efforts to get the state tournament played. That fact isn’t lost on
That fact isn’t lost on Jacob Woody, another Cashion senior who was about to realize one of his life’s goals.
“It’s been a dream for me since my freshman year to have the opportunity to play in ‘The Big House,’” Woody said. “The team and I were the most excited we’ve ever been and to have to be told we weren’t going to be able to play in the tournament this weekend was devastating.” The unknown also digs
The unknown also digs at Woody.
“Not knowing when, or if, we’ll get to play is killing us all.”
The state tournament is nothing new to Kingfisher High School senior Harrison Themer. The Jackets were set to
The Jackets were set to take part in their fourth consecutive tournament and have played in the last three Class 4A title games.
Themer owns a ring thanks to last year’s run to the state championship.
However, as a junior on the most stacked basketball team Kingfisher has every put on a basketball court, his contributions were limited last year.
This year, however, Themer has played a vital role in the Jackets’ 26-1 season that sees them holding down the No. 1 ranking.
He, too, had extra reason to be looking forward to the state tournament.
“It’s definitely a tough feeling when I’ve put up so many shots and gone through so many practices for one year of contributing just to have it cut short,” he said.
When Kingfisher coaches broke the news to the players, they told them to be prepared for anything because the only thing that was certain was that there was so much unknown.
For players in Cashion, Kingfisher and all other points across the state - especially seniors - it’s been a tough pill to swallow.
“It’s even weirder not knowing when or if we will get the chance to play again,” Themer said. “There’s definitely a lack of closure.”