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J. Thomas McNamara

     Boys and girls prep basketball will NOT be played this year.
     That’s what Gov. J.B. Pritzker said after his Illinois Department of Public Health elevated the risk of basketball from medium to high risk which means there cannot be any contact.
     As a result, Illinois High School Association Executive Director Craig Anderson released this statement, “About 15 minutes prior to Gov. Pritzker’s press conference today, we were alerted that the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has elevated the sport of basketball from a medium risk level to a high risk level. We remain considerate of the recent rise in positive COVID-19 cases in our state. However, in our meeting with IDPH on Friday (October 23), we felt that we presented multiple options that would allow for basketball to be conducted safely by IHSA schools this winter, many of which are being utilized in neighboring states who plan to play high school basketball.
     “Despite that setback, there is some positive news, as IDPH accepted the IHSA’s mitigations related to other sports, including cheerleading and dance, allowing them to move from a medium risk level to a low risk level. We will hold our special Board of Directors meeting on October 28 as scheduled, where our Board will provide direction on the other winter sports, as well as discuss the IHSA sports schedule for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.”
     As of this date and time, prep basketball is off unfortunately for the young men and women, who play the games, and it’s especially tough for the MacArthur girls, who are good enough this year to have possibly got to Redbird Arena for the state championship and Andrea Riebock’s lady St. Teresa Bulldogs has the returning talent to do the same.
     I’ll have more on this obviously developing and disappointing news with coaches reactions in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune.

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