NJCAA tournament postponement gives Gaffney more time to recover

Local Sports

PANAMA CITY, Fla.(WMBB)– The NJCAA postponed all national tournaments until April. Although the Gulf Coast State College men’s basketball team hates to take time away from the court, the delay is beneficial for head coach Phil Gaffney who suffered a heart attack in January.

The head coach has not been able to coach on the sidelines since.

Gaffney was permitted to go back to work on Tuesday, so he was back for a couple practices before the announcement was made.

“Hearing him like at our scrimmage yelling like it’s just a great feeling made us want to play harder so I got out there harder probably than I ever have since I’ve been at Gulf Coast,” Gulf Coast basketball player Cam Holden said.

Gaffney said although he was at practices he was not anywhere close to contributing to them as he did in the past.

“Great for me because obviously I’m still in a pretty weak state they did let me come back after four weeks which is pretty early from surgery,” Gaffney said.

The team will play the waiting game to see what decision is made by the NJCAA in the future. The Commodores said they hope the tournament is not canceled completely so they can have Gaffney back on the sidelines.

“Having him back at full strength would be a like a blessing for us because that’s my guy I love him and he’s been great for us this season,” Gulf Coast basketball player Jacolbey Owens said.

The national tournament has a tentative new start date of April 20.

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