Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Saint Francis

COVID break meant Christmas at home for Red Flash

Photo by Saint Francis Athletics: Ramiir Dixon-Conover

Saint Francis finally gets to play a basketball game tonight after a month off because of COVID, but the long break wasn’t all that bad for the squad because of some fortunate timing.

Unlike most college basketball players around the country, the Red Flash players were able to go back home and spend Christmas with their families.

Saint Francis’ last game was Dec. 8 at Mount St. Mary’s, and a game at Saint Bonaventure four days later was canceled because of a member of the Flash program tested positive.

Finals were already over, and the team didn’t have another game scheduled until tonight’s Northeast Conference contest at LIU. So, the players all got to go home for two weeks for Christmas and returned Dec. 27 to get back in basketball shape.

“I was excited to be able to give our guys the opportunity to go home and spend some time and recharge mentally,” SFU coach Rob Krimmel said. “It’s certainly been a different semester for these guys, and yeah, I hope that in the long run would be good for them.”

Most college basketball players spent their time alone with just their teammates on campuses across the country during Christmas. And there are few campuses in the country more isolated than SFU’s mountaintop campus in Loretto.

But Krimmel said he was “adamant” about being able to let the players go home.

“It could have been very easy, we could have tried the quarantine and the isolation up here in Loretto,” Krimmel said. “But the timing of it was, I wanted these guys to have a little bit of a break mentally.

“As much as we wanted them there for basketball — and that’s important; we’re coaches, we’re in the middle of the season — I thought it was important for the mental well being just to get home.”

There are two schools of thought about doing what Saint Francis did.

One is that the players were able to enjoy life at home and get away from basketball for a bit.

Become a Nittany Pride member for an ad-free experience throughout the site and even more exclusive in-depth content. You can sign up for $3.99 per month or get a yearly subscription for only $38.00.

However, there can be concern with sending players back home into environments, some say, where they may have been more susceptible to catching the virus since there was no isolation and no frequent testing.

“One of the things that, when we started this out, I wasn’t gonna have these guys live in fear,” Krimmel said. “I think a little fear is good. By no means is fear absent from what any of us do, right. I wanted to try to teach them how to be responsible, how to be responsible individually for their actions, OK.

“I can’t control what they do outside of practice here. But these kids have been phenomenal, have been unbelievable since we started this thing. The ability to test over and over again and deal with positive and negative and all of those things, they’ve been fantastic. But once they leave the gym, I really can’t control what they’re doing.

“I wanted to teach them some personal accountability and personal responsibility. And yes, is there a risk when they go home? Absolutely. But to not give our guys that opportunity to be around family during the holidays, that was a risk I was willing to take, and that was the tradeoff.”

The Flash tip off at LIU tonight at 7, then the teams will play again tomorrow at 4 p.m. Saint Francis is 1-4 overall (0-1 NEC) and hasn’t won since stunning Pitt in the opener.

One positive, though, is that point guard Ramiir Dixon-Conover will be back after missing the past three games with an ankle injury. He scored 21 points in the win at Pitt but got hurt in the next game against UMBC, and without him, the Flash just weren’t the same team.

Click for more Nittany Sports Now coverage

Get Nittany Sports Now in your inbox

Sign-up for email updates and get the whole story first from Cory Giger and the Nittany Sports Now team, delivered straight to your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Written By

Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career, plus he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy in football and Wooden Award in basketball.

Click to comment

Sound Off!

Get NSN in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get notifications of new posts by email.

Most Viewed

Roster rumblings: PSU players coming and going
Giger: Dicey 'we're a good team' claim appears again
Notebook (1-22): PSU offers two DEs from Florida
After lucky football season, COVID takes toll at PSU
With PSU postponed again, question becomes: What kind of wrestling season can happen?
Quick takes: Brutal B1G can make any team look bad
Alabama makes it official with Bill O'Brien hiring
What does the Fox say ... about Rob Krimmel?
Ravens: Where McSorley stands after RGIII released
Recruiting outside region increases odds of transfers

More from Nittany Sports Now

Nittany Notebook

0 Update: 8:20 p.m. **Penn State has offered 3-star DE Zane Durant (6-1, 240) from Orlando. He’s in the class of 2022. He has...

Saint Francis

0 Saint Francis continued its trend of playing well in the first game, then slumping in game two of its Northeast Conference back-to-backs. Finding...

Saint Francis

0 Saint Francis plays at Sacred Heart today, and there’s some pretty cool history surrounding the teams’ first meeting 21 years ago. The Red...

Opinion

0 Thursday night, UNC-Asheville beat Charleston Southern by 38 points, 92-54. In the rematch today, the team that lost by 38 less than 24...

Get Nittany Sports Now in your inbox

Sign-up for email updates and get the whole story first from Cory Giger and the Nittany Sports Now team, delivered straight to your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Send this to a friend