(KEYC) — Competitions in Minnesota are returning at the youth level this week and next after the Minnesota Department of Health gave its recommendation to start allowing games.
The wait is almost over as youth athletes will be able to transition from small group work to games.
Many of these AAU basketball players went a few months without touching a basketball court, but some skill development work began a few weeks back as athletes started to knock some of the rust off.
“They just want to be around each other, start doing something. It’s on a limited basis right now, but slowly we’re getting to where we need to be to compete again,” said Kory Kettner, Minnesota Rise owner.
That means social distancing, sanitizing between sessions and limiting the number of athletes in the gym, but state officials have recommended competition for indoor sports return next week.
“July 1 we can finally start competing. That’s when the social distancing can stop, we’ll compete, get ready for tournaments. At that point, we just have to hope and pray everyone can stay clean and clear of COVID and watch each other a little bit closer for signs and symptoms of it,” said Kettner.
It will be an abbreviated season compared to other summers, but sports are continuing to slowly return after a long period with no competitions.
“I don’t know how I would have handled it at their age. I’m just impressed they were able to battle through it mentally. I think that’s the biggest thing, overcoming the drag or grind of it, the smile on their faces when they first saw each other was priceless. We’re working with the young kids up at every level. The look on their face that first day was pretty special,” said Kettner.