Written by Chris Kubala
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on sports, both here in the United States and around the world. We’ve seen baseball return in South Korea and in Taiwan while soccer is back in Germany. The NHL and NBA are both working toward their potential returns as team facilities are opened or opening to give players a chance to work in small groups to get back to speed. MLB is still trying to figure out how they can potentially get back on the field at this stage of the game. We saw college basketball grind to a halt in the middle of conference tournaments, depriving fans and athletes of March Madness.
Athletes haven’t been immune to the COVID-19 pandemic either. Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell of the Jazz were the first athletes to test positive, leading to the halt of sports. Kevin Durant was among the other NBA players who tested positive. Several NHL players from the Colorado Avalanche and Ottawa Senators dealt with the situation as well but recovered. Just last week, it was announced that Basketball Hall of Fame member and current Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing had been hospitalized after testing positive for the coronavirus. At that point, it was announced by the school that he was the only member of the basketball program to test positive.
On Monday, Ewing told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that he was resting at home after spending the weekend at the hospital as he focused on getting better. His son, Patrick Ewing Jr., gave his update on the situation via Twitter Monday, making the following statement: "I want to thank all of the doctors and hospital staff for taking care of my father during his stay, as well as everyone who has reached out with thoughts and prayers to us and since his diagnosis."
Testing positive for the coronavirus continued what has been a rough year for Ewing. In his fourth season as the head coach at his alma mater, he dealt with a slew of off-court issues. Four players, including Josh LeBlanc and James Akinjo, announced that they were transferring from the team back in December. Three of the four had been hit with a restraining order by a fellow Georgetown student from an incident that had taken place earlier in the year. Earlier this month, Mac McClung, the team’s leading scorer this season before going down with a foot injury that ended his season February 21, announced that he was removing his name from the NBA Draft and would enter the transfer portal. With big man Omer Yurtseven a senior this past season, burned his eligibility as well, taking another proven commodity out of the Hoyas’ rotation.
Ewing got plenty of support from former teammate and sometimes adversary Charles Oakley. Oakley posted “I went to war with you for ten years. I won’t leave you on the battlefield now. Get well Patrick. More fights ahead,” on his Twitter account. While one wouldn’t target Oakley as the first choice of people to jump forward and support Ewing after he blamed him for the Knicks losing to Chicago in the 1993 playoffs, it’s good to see that he could put the animosity of the failures of a quarter-century ago aside.
It’s good to see that Ewing has been discharged and is home resting as he continues to battle back from the coronavirus. We wish him well in his continued efforts to make a full recovery from the virus and that he’s ready to go once the 2020-21 season gets underway, hopefully in the fall.