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Sights and sounds from Carterville’s first boys basketball practice

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CARTERVILLE (WSIL) -- What does the future of Illinois high school sports look like for basketball and football ?

Jury is still out, but our local teams are allowed to take the court. No games so far. IDPH provided new updates but some schools are trying to figure out the next step and some like Carterville are ready to play.

So we made our way over to the Carterville High School gym and checked out practice with the Lions.

Once I entered the gym, it all came back to me. I almost forgot what basketball practice looked and sounded like. Immediately, the sound of sneakers on the hardwood floor caught my ears attention, my focus locked in on the bouncing ball. Coach Hawkins hollering out instruction, brought a smile to my face, and then I heard that unforgotten sound of swoosh, the sound only a net can make. Yep basketball is back. The Carterville Lions were together again at practice.

"I think our approach changed three times today," Carterville Boys Head Basketball Coach Shane Hawkins said. "At one time it was, we are going to practice, we're going to teach, we're going to make it as much like a season practice as we can. As the day went on, not finding out or that tier one and phase 4 are the same and we still can't play a game right now, I think the most important thing right now is to do a little bit of skill stuff, do a little bit of conditioning, let them play, let them have fun."

"It's tiring getting up," Carterville senior Eli Downen said. "It's constant running back and forth, back and forth, definitely different than football."

"With senior year winding down and half of it over, it's kind of coming here and having as much fun as possible and enjoy the days being back in here," Carterville senior Bryce Anderson said.

Wearing a masking while playing hoops, not easy, but the Lions are glad to be back on the floor. If that's what it takes. They'll deal with it.

"Having the mask is definitely harder than no mask, no matter how hard basketball conditioning is, a little bit harder with the mask on," Downen said.

It's still uncertain if games will be played. So this time on the floor is about comradery and creating memories.

"You have to enjoy every second of it," Anderson said. "That's really all I have to say. Seems like yesterday I was freshman and now I might not even have a basketball season, let alone any other season so got to hope for the best.

Jason Hurst

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