Coronavirus Cases Threaten Recruitment in Basketball


The 120,000-square-foot recreation center could be even busier on Friday, when hundreds of male college coaches arrive for the last lively recruiting weekend of the summer. (The NBA has allowed its scouts to participate in the Peach Jam on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays when college men’s coaches are not allowed, for an early look at the players who could be in the 2023 draft.)

Adidas and Under Armor also sponsored youth basketball competitions this month, but these were spread over three weekends across different sites. The Adidas event ended in Omaha last weekend, and the Under Armor tournament near Indianapolis will conclude this weekend. Instead, Nike has squeezed the 2021 men’s summer travel season into a two-week window.

As a result, Peach Jam, unlike other tournaments, required players and coaches to take coronavirus tests 72 hours before the start of the event, and were tested daily, according to several parents and players. According to one participant who requested anonymity because tournament directors told them not to talk to reporters, if a team were to play before 2:00 p.m., they would be tested in the afternoon. If the game is set to be played after 14:00, players will be tested in the morning.

Filipowski, one of the top players here, is one of four members of the New York Rens who left the team Wednesday due to positive tests, according to an official who is not authorized to speak publicly about the cases. Filipowski’s twin brother, Matthew, played a 7-metre center.

Starling’s father, Patrick, said his son tested positive for the virus on Monday and initially had a headache and fever. According to Patrick, none of JJ’s teammates had tested positive. Isolated in his hotel room, young Starling streamed his team’s Wednesday match on his phone, and his father gave him orange juice and flu meds. While JJ is feeling better, she may have to stay here until Starlings tests negative to fly home. His next test was to be held on Friday.

“It hurts because he’s not playing here,” Patrick said. “He had been waiting for two years to be able to compete here. All these players deserve to be here. This is the biggest opportunity.”


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