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Purple Media Network

Balancing NSU Demons basketball and the Holidays

Jayda Gee
On Nov. 6, 2023, the men’s basketball team opened their season with a win and prepares for the rest of the season.

Northwestern State University of Louisiana’s Demons basketball men’s and women’s team practice over the holiday breaks to ensure the success of their seasons. With this consistency comes the sacrifice of missing holidays with their families.

With games extending into November and December, NSU players are practicing during the break. This could be a unique experience, especially with 14 new student-athletes in the men’s basketball team, including four freshmen.

“One thing that is dear to me is family and even though through the week of Thanksgiving we may have practices, I will allow my players to go home for Christmas,” head coach Rick Cabrera said.

Adapting to this demanding schedule, particularly for freshman athletes, may lead to holiday blues affecting players during the season.

“Sometimes it is a business, and sometimes it’s family matters. The players on this team know that. I believe I will push through it,” said head coach Cabrera.

With the holidays in mind, not having a full break would be something many students would have a hard time accepting. However, the men’s basketball players have tunnel vision for their one goal this season: winning.

“At first as a freshman, it was difficult but more and more I got used to it and now it doesn’t even cross my mind,” Justin Wilson, senior forward, said.

Players believe that not being able to go home for the holidays can be good for the team. It allows them to communicate and spend time with teammates outside of practice and classes, building closer bonds and better teamwork.

“I remember on my last team that not going home for the holidays actually builds more cooperation amongst the team and helps us approve trust among players,” J.C. Riley Jr.,sophomore center, said.

With senior leaders rallying the freshmen and communicating that the NSU basketball team is a family, players find solace in one another’s company during the holidays.

“I try to be a great teammate and be there for my guys if they ever feel homesick during the holidays. I offer them to come spend the holidays with me and my family if they can’t go to theirs,” Mitch Williams, freshmen guard, said.

However, the team will not allow anything to deter them from their ultimate goal: reaching March Madness and earning a championship ring.

“Our goal for the season is to get a ring and be a part of March madness with our fellow brothers,” Wilson said.

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About the Contributors
Christian Robinson, Current Sauce - Sports Editor
Christian Robinson joined The Current Sauce at the end of 2022 as a contributing sports writer for the Men's Baseball team's weekly review. This year he holds the position of Sports editor and looks forward for his first year in this role. Christian hopes to have a great year with his new team.
Jayda Gee, Current Sauce - Photo Editor
Jayda Gee is a sophomore majoring in biology. She spends her time on campus working in the recruiting office and volunteering off-campus at the Natchitoches National Fish Hatchery. Being a new photographer, she hopes to expand her skills and knowledge as well as shooting everything NSU.

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