COVID-19 disrupts women’s basketball team recruitment

By: Miguel Dominguez

It’s been a tough situation for  East Los Angeles College Head Coach Bruce Turner with the pandemic still ongoing.

“[COVID-19] has affected recruiting and our numbers,” Turner said. 

The team currently has 14 players on the roster. There are nine sophomores and five freshmen on the team. Three players are still pending to join the team.

“They are thinking whether or not to play with the whole COVID-19 situation going on,” Turner said.

Usually, Turner would have 20 players on the roster before the start of the season.There are four players returning to the team. 

“The best thing was being able to go and advance academically and keep their eligibility of playing for the team,” Turner said.

The Huskies are looking to make it 11 consecutive years going to the playoffs. Turner is entering his 15th season with the women’s basketball team. “We’ll have a winning season,” Turner said. 

Coach Turner said they looked pretty good. He said they still need to work on defense and more continuity in their offense after playing showcase games two weeks ago.  The preparation for the season is ongoing.

“Right now, we are getting them to do weight training and building up their stamina,” Turner said.

The team will play a scrimmage game on Oct. 16 before the start of their season to gauge where they stand as a team.

“That’s why you practice every day, each day. Players will get more comfortable with repetition plays they get,” Turner said.

The first game of the season will be on Nov. 5, when they play at Grossmont College Tournament.

They have played against Fullerton College and Cerritos College with both teams being challenging. “They are both playoff teams,” Turner said.  

There are several players on the team being scouted by other schools. Of these players, shooting guard Delilah Kimble Gray and forward Maya Clarke are highly being scouted.

“We definitely have some potential scholarship players,” Turner said.

The Huskies will have their first home games Dec. 27- 29, when they play the Dan and Susan Okawa Classic Tournament.

Turner said, “Dan and Susan Okawa were former employees for ELAC. They have been great supporters of women’s sports on campus which is why they named the tournament after them.” The Huskies will have seven other teams to play in this tournament.

“We love to play defense and share the basketball. And those two components are keys to winning basketball games. That’s been a success to the women’s program since I’ve been here. That’s always been a goal of mine,” Turner said.

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