On March 11, the NBA announced that a player on the Utah Jazz tested positive for the Coronavirus, COVID-19, shortly before tipoff between the Jazz and the Oklahoma Thunder. The result was the cancellation of the game and ultimately, the suspension of the NBA season until further notice.
At the same time, the NCAA announced that upcoming championship events, including Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, would only be played with limited family attendance and essential staff.
In a statement released by the NCAA, President Mark Emmert said, "The NCAA continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 in consultation with public health officials and our COVID-19 advisory panel."
"While I understand how disappointing this is for all fans of our sports, my decision is based on the current understanding of how COVID-19 is progressing in the United States."
Locally, this decision will impact the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders women’s basketball team and the A&M-Kingsville Javelina men’s basketball team.
At the high school level, the University Interscholastic League, UIL, the organization that provides guidance and leadership to public schools in Texas released a press release regarding the UIL Basketball Tournament, stating that the tournament will take place with limited attendance.
Currently, the UIL state boys basketball tournament semifinals and finals are scheduled for this weekend in the Alamodome in San Antonio.
"The health and safety of our student athletes and patrons is our number one priority," UIL Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt said. "While we are saddened to limit the fans that can be inside the arena supporting their teams, it is crucial we take every possible precaution to keep participants safe."
Only pre-purchased tickets will be honored and no other tickets sold except for a limited number of championship game tickets for the winning teams on-site at the box office immediately after each game and limited to 500 per school.
The Powerlifting state finals are scheduled for March 20 in Waco and several area high schools are sending competitors from Freer, San Diego, Agua Dulce and Alice.
It is also the beginning of District play for baseball and softball and until further notice; it is still business as usual for high school athletics in Texas.
As of now, no other UIL events or games are being affected and will continue as planned.
This is a developing story. Updates will be on alicetx.com.