PHOTO: Taylor Jedrzejek/WOUB

MAC Tournament: Coronavirus’ Impact on Players and Fans

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CLEVELAND, OH — The Coronavirus has altered sporting events across the country — limiting or eliminating spectators at tournament games. The question is how nearly empty arenas would impact the players. But for Ohio, they actually had the loudest crowd here in Cleveland with the assist to the Ohio Men’s basketball team.

“I’m glad we’re still allowed to have our families there and we needed the boy’s support,” Ohio women’s basketball player Erica Johnson said. “Having them there kind of gave us an edge to let us know. They were loud and so it helped. Their energy helped.”
“Not having the band and the cheerleaders didn’t really affect us,” Ohio women’s basketball player Amani Burke said. “I think we create our own energy. And then having the men’s team there. They were loud the whole game so I think that gave us a spark and we also feed off of each other’s energy. “
The women’s players were grateful for the men’s energetic presence.
“Yeah that was cool, at our home games a couple of them show up but to have all of them there engaged and cheering us on was great and we’re going to try and do the same,” Johnson said.
Ohio is thankful to be playing amidst the concern for public safety.
“The health of everybody should be a priority, but when it’s okay to okay we should let kids play,” Ohio women’s basketball coach Bob Boldon said. “And I’m just a grateful we have a chance and however, this shakes out, that we have a chance to play and I’m very grateful for that.”