Freshmen student-athletes have to deal with circumstances that no other incoming class has had to deal with. They are essentially guinea pigs for the future of college sports. 

The uncertainty of this offseason has not stopped new members of the Kent State men’s basketball roster, freshman VonCameron Davis and redshirt freshman Jeremiah Hernandez, from pushing themselves to their limits. 

Davis, a true freshman small forward from Columbus, arrived on campus and started classes three weeks ago. He is not too fond of the university’s switch to fully online classes, as he prefers to learn in-person rather than remotely, but he is making the most of his academic time. 

Guard Jeremiah Hernandez, from Chicago, Ill., said that the extra time off has allowed him to appreciate the game more and reflect on how to get better. 

“We have more time to get treatment and focus on schoolwork,” said Hernandez. 

For him and many other players, those are the biggest benefits of not travelling so far. Having a delayed season could turn out to be a blessing for some freshmen, as it has allowed them to have more time to adjust to the rigors of college and it has given them more time to develop their game.   

Davis was named Ohio’s Mr. Basketball for 2020. He immediately realized the difference in the level of talent at the start of his first college practice. 

“In high school you are able to slack off a little bit on some days, but you cannot do that at the college level or you won’t make it,” Davis said. 

When Davis first got on campus, he had some trouble finding a gym to do solo workouts at; now he gets to the gym at six in the morning due to his schedule. Hernandez works out at his apartment complex gym when he’s not on campus. 

Outside of personal workouts, the basketball team has been practicing together almost every day for the past several weeks, but has been forced to workout in the weight room in small groups due to COVID-19 safety procedures. 

Davis and Hernandez were both vocal about how safe the workout environment is at Kent State.

“We are properly cleaning our equipment and all safety procedures are being followed. Our coaches have done a great job with adjusting to the changes caused by the pandemic,” Hernandez said. 

The Flashes have made the most out of their limited practice time together. The pandemic has certainly given them more time to build its team chemistry, which is one of the most important factors in a college team’s success. 

The NCAA Division I Council announced on Wednesday that the college basketball season will begin on Nov. 25, about two weeks later than when the normal season would have started. 

Sean Blevins is a sports reporter. Contact him at sblevin4@kent.edu.

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Hi, I’m Lauren Sasala, a senior journalism student from Toledo. I’m also the editor in chief of The Kent Stater and KentWired this semester. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important news about Kent State and the Kent community. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate.

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