The Covid-19 pandemic has put a halt to everything especially Basketball. Playoffs canceled, in- person recruiting cancelled AAU season in question. So how are some of your favorite teams and coaches dealing with this? Just about everyone is staying positive and adapting to this whole new reality.
A few weeks ago, Ralph Fornoles a referee, coach and creator of the Referee Rant podcast invited me to collaborate on a special podcast series called Pandemic Preempt: A series about the lost season in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This first episode is episode 179 of the Referee Rant podcast and it features Stepinac Head Coach Pat Massaroni. Stepinac finished the season 18-9and was coming off of a huge win against division rival St. Raymon’s to win the NY-AA Archdiocesan championship on February 29th. With a highly anticipated matchup against crosstown rival Iona Prep on the horizon, the Covid-19 pandemic started to get worse as the quarterfinals site Fordham University was closed down due to a student being infected.
The Catholic league made adjustments moving the quarterfinals to Stepinac where St. Rays, Scanlan, Archbishop Molloy and St. Francis Prep played. During that time, the pandemic got worst and all over the NBA and NCAA and College basketball conferences started to shut down. From there it was a sure thing that the CHSAA playoffs weren’t going to continue there for putting an end to Stepinac’s historical season a season where it’s star player Mcdonald’s All-American and UNC commit R.J. Davis garnered tons of accolades including CHSAA player of the year, New York’s Mr. Basketball, Gatorade NY player od the year and much more. The Crusaders finished the season with an 18-9 record and was ranked as one of the top 40 schools in the nation.
Ralph Fornoles and myself talked to Massaroni on hosting the quarterfinals, the effect that the pandemic had on his season, his coaching journey and much more.
Check out the podcast link Here