Erin Kenny awaits basketball’s return
It has now been almost a year since Erin Kenny last played a game of basketball.
The fourth-year forward with the Windsor Lancers last suited up Feb. 22, 2020 at the Brock gym when the visiting team blew a 51-32 fourth quarter lead to the hometown Badgers and fell 61-57 with a spot in the Ontario University Athletics’ Final Four on the line.
“That is kind of crazy,” the Thorold native said, of the long absence from playing.
The six-foot forward and her teammates would have loved to get back on the floor sooner rather than later to help put the disappointing loss behind them.
“It was a tough way to end the season but we were looking forward to coming back as a team, getting together to scrimmage and doing a bunch of stuff together,” she said. “It got taken away and it has been hard.”
The Windsor area was hit harder by the second wave of COVID earlier in the fall than other areas of the province and the team was restricted in what it could do.
“We were able to do some stuff but it was mostly skills-based training rather than team concepts and things like that. It was nice to practise those back to basics skills.”
Like all basketball players at all levels, Kenny is a fish out of water because of the pandemic.
“I was talking to my parents about it being a year since I played,” she said. “I haven’t gone this long without playing since I was eight or nine years old and in Grade 2. It’s different because of most of my years have been planned around basketball: when the season starts; when it ends; and, when we start training for the next season.
“Without it, it is what am I going to base my year on and how am I going to plan out my year?”
It has required some coping mechanisms.
“How I am getting through it is keeping a routine, staying on top of my studies and workouts and then obviously having good people around me to try to motivate me through that.”
Her basketball activities now involve following on-line workouts from the training staff at Windsor.
Kenny has two years of eligibility remaining but she hasn’t made any decisions on whether she will take advantage of those years.
“I will be graduating from Windsor next year and that’s where things kind of get confusing,” she said. “I’m not sure what is going to happen and I have to look into whether I want to go back to school, start working right away or take a break.”
Kenny played in 22 games and started eight for Windsor in the 2019-20 season. She averaged three points, three rebounds and 1.2 assists per game and was excited to built on those numbers in her fourth season with the Lancers.
“I am looking forward to getting back on the court with my teammates and getting that normalcy back with games and practice,” the Denis Morris grad said. “It is nice when you get a little bit older, you start playing a little more and you get more comfortable being on the court with the OUA speed of the game. I am missing it.”
Kenny was in Windsor up until two weeks before Christmas and then she came home to Thorold. She is finishing her fourth year on-line at home.
“It is definitely not the easiest thing and it has been a fairly large adjustment, especially because I am in fourth year and a lot of my classes are lab based. Transitioning to on-line labs has been a little bit difficult but it OK,” she said. “You are staring at your screen for a lot of time during the day so it can get tiring. And you miss that communication aspect between your profs and also with your peers.”
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