Public schools return to the hardwood for the 2020-2021 season

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)–The high school basketball season is officially here for public schools. Boys and girls teams across the Cape Fear hit the hardwood on Monday for the first practice of the year.

It’s something fan, players, and coaches have been waiting for. In years past the season was started in November, but covid-19 pushed in back in 2020. New Hanover High School boys basketball coach Kirk Angel says he wasn’t sure they would ever get to this point.

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“All along it was kind of a day by day thing for us,” says Angel. “We started doing workouts way back in July and August and I was telling the kids let’s just take it day by day, week by week, see if we can get better. All we can do is just hope for the best and I just I hope we can get it in.”

The excitement of a new season has carried over to the players. They have been wondering for months if they would have the opportunity to suit up in the Wildcat colors this season.

“It feels great cause to be honest I really thought we weren’t going to have a season,” says New Hanover junior James Jones Jr. “The way it was going I thought like there was no chance of having it. So, yeah I’m very excited. “

Things will definitely have a different look this year though. Masks must be worn by coaches and players at all times, even during competition. There will also be no jump ball at the beginning of games. They say while it will take some getting used to it’s nothing they can’t overcome to play the game they love.

“They would play with football helmets on if I asked them to, they just want to play,” says Angel. “So, the mask thing their getting used to through workouts. The one thing to me that’s really odd is the jump ball deal because once we start playing the social distance thing goes away. But whatever the state tells us we’re going to do it and be happy we can just get on the court.”

Regular season games for public schools across the state will get underway on January 4th.