Letter from the locker room: Girls basketball

What my 2020 Basketball Season Looks like

Dear Birdcage,

My name is Navya Batra and I am a senior on the girls Varsity basketball team at OPHS. 

Most years, our season takes up the entire year. We start summer conditioning in June, have the end of August off, then begin fall conditioning in September. We continue playing from September all the way through the end of the season in March. Then in the off season, we occasionally go to open gyms and shoot around in our free time. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, our team hasn’t had any in person practices until Monday, Nov. 2. 

I had my first practice in person since quarantine began and let me tell you, it was unexpected. I’m a little frustrated for a couple reasons.

First of all, this is my senior season. I’ve been in this program since my freshman year and it definitely played a huge part in my Oak Park experience. So I’m a little annoyed at how unpredictable the upcoming season looks. 

Ordinarily, our team does some crazy things to prepare for the season, which would have usually begun this week. For example, every year, the entire program spends a night in the gym where we just do activities, share stories and have fun. The seniors usually run this event, which unfortunately, didn’t exactly happen this year. COVID-19 took away a huge part of my senior season which is a little hard to come to terms with. 

Secondly, I’m pretty annoyed because I’ve been hearing of other teams, specifically teams in our conference, starting practice in August. August! Not only was our school not condoning in-person practices, but it wasn’t exactly safe for some of our team members to even come to in-person practice. 

Although I know how important it is to stay safe, I can’t help but to be a little sad that something that has played such an important part in my experience is falling apart during my senior year. Not only are the usual team activities canceled, but other teams now have five months more practice than we do come season time. 

Despite there being so many drawbacks to every sport this 2020 season, I’m grateful for the opportunity to play at all. The season isn’t completely canceled, and that’s a huge win in my book. Yeah, it might not be the same as every other year, but change brings opportunities. Hopefully there will be some cool surprises behind these drastic changes to season. 


Navya Batra