By Brenda De La Cruz
East Los Angeles College’s basketball team ended last season 29-1, attracting many new athletes who hoped to gain opportunities for their futures through the love of the sport. One of these students is Noel Scott, a freshman point guard who graduated from Washington High School.
Scott, 19, originally played football as a child, but was inspired to play basketball by his uncle who attended Western Washington University, National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II school. Scott said his uncle used to take him to the park to shoot hoops, where he quickly took a liking to the sport.
Due to the global pandemic, Scott has been unable to practice with his team on campus as planned during the regular season. In order to emulate playing on a court while not on campus, Scott said he gets invitations to play with other athletes at basketball courts in Orange County.
Additionally, the freshman stays in shape by starting his mornings with a one-mile run, followed by either the Culver City Stairs or weight lifting with his personal trainer.
Despite the setbacks from COVID-19, Scott is able to continue to take his college courses online as he majors in kinesiology, hoping to one day become a sports therapist. The point-guard is open in regards to player recruitment, but hopes to land a school in the Big West Athletic Conference, Western Athletic Conference or Pacific-12 Conference.
John Mosley, head coach of the Men’s basketball team believes in Scott’s abilities to land a Division I school, but wishes Scott, along with the other players, would have the opportunity to set foot on campus and get the chance to be noticed and evaluated by universities.
“Some players rely on athletics as a vehicle for transfer, but community colleges have no solutions to return to campus due to COVID-19 state regulations,” Mosley said.
Last year, nine sophomores transferred to universities. Mosley believes being on campus and having access to different types of help from the college played a big factor in transferring out.
Mosley said that the student athletes are able to participate in study halls a few times a week, which helps them with their educational goals and earn good grades. However, due to COVID-19, meetings on campus have been non-existent and the team has had to rely on Zoom meetings with the coach twice a week.
What some people may not know is that student athletes must take on a full load of classes in order to transfer within two years, making it that much harder to juggle good grades and a good playing season during a global pandemic.
“Campus should allow some type of access to study hall at a small capacity,” Mosley said.
Mosley said he misses mentoring and encouraging the students. He understands it hurts the players to see other counties and other states returning to the courts while they must wait and hope the season begins sooner than later.
“I am sure it puts salt on the wound when they see other campuses on the courts,” he said.