PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB)– The NJCAA announced on Thursday that the men and women’s national basketball championships will be postponed until April due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Both Gulf Coast State college basketball teams were set to compete in the NJCAA DI national tournaments next week.
“There’s nothing I haven’t been through. I’ve been through a Hurricane, I’ve been through this. It’s kinda normal now,” Gulf Coast sophomore Cam Holden said.
The teams both planned to leave on Saturday but the tournaments have been moved back to a tentative date of April 20. The women’s tournament is going to be held in Lubbock, Texas. The men’s tournament will be held in Hutchinson, Kansas.
“This is bigger than the game of basketball. Hats off to the NJCAA to make a proactive approach and say we are still going to try and have it,” Gulf Coast women’s basketball head coach Roonie Scovel said.
The Lady Commodores will compete at the tournament for a fifth straight year. The Commodores are going to compete in Hutchinson for the first time since 1972.
“It would very ironic that after 48 years of not winning a title and we finally won a title, we couldn’t go and play for a national championship. That would be the worst of the worst,” Gulf Coast men’s basketball head coach Phil Gaffney said.
Gulf Coast players said the postponement is better than a complete cancellation.
“With it being postponed, we might have a chance to get to play as it looks right now,” Gulf Coast sophomore Jacolbey Owens said.