By: Grace Rodriguez
Coach Robert Robinson and Counselor Dorothy Teola of the East Los Angeles College Athletics Department are grateful to be back on campus after the pandemic-induced Stay-at-Home Order.
“We started back on campus yesterday (May 24). Surreal feeling. Everything was just as we left it 14 months ago,” said Robinson.
Robinson said he missed the normalcy that came with the “daily grind” that is reminiscent of the feeling that comes with playing basketball. It is a feeling that just makes sense to him, unlike this pandemic and the feelings associated with being a part of “a chaotic universe.” He said he desperately missed the gym.
The Summer 2021 semester is being received with excitement. “When I got back on campus the first person I saw was Coach Mosley. It felt really weird for about two minutes, and then we immediately had 10 things to do at that moment to get the kids in proper protocol and to get them on campus. And just like that, the old hustle was the same hustle and it was back to the grind,” Robinson said.
Protocols as of June are minimal compared to those they had to follow at the beginning of the Spring semester. They project things to become even easier in the upcoming semester.
Although the pandemic impeded relationships from becoming personal, the staff at the Athletics Department have kept in contact with all of their players on a weekly basis, since they got off the bus back in March 2020. Although they could not practice, Coach Robinson said “the athletes were monitored academically.”
He said it was a bit hard to manage the new athletes in the program because telecommunications impeded interpersonal relationships to develop much. He appreciates the resilient nature of the athletes and their ability to maintain high spirits. He said, “They are excited to get rockin’ again.”
Robinson said he is looking forward to helping the boys develop on a daily basis. “They have literally lost a year out of their athletic lives, it’s a year they will never get back,” he said. He is excited for the summer because of the “perfect mixture of players ready to learn and coaches eager to teach.”
More than anything, he said he is excited to “get these young men out of the streets and into some structure.”