Coronavirus Doesn’t Stop Athlete From Training

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NORTH CANTON, Ohio – Stay-at-home orders around the country have prevented athletes from heading to the gym to prepare for their seasons. But one athlete from Northeast Ohio has had no problem improving his skills during quarantine.

Jonah McCartney, a senior at North Canton Hoover High School, was a member of the basketball team for four years. He said he had battled through adversity while on the court as a Hoover Viking, but the adversity during COVID-19 has been different.

“I was planning on getting into the high school gym as much as possible, but now that I can’t; I’ve had to resort to playing a lot outside,” McCartney said.

Playing at parks can even have its flaws. The rims on basketball hoops in nearby parks have been taken down to prevent people from gathering and playing together. Other problems, like the weather, also make it difficult to practice outdoors.

“When you go to the park, the weather isn’t always great,” he said. “What I’ve been doing is trying to improve the ball handling and finishing aspects as much as I can.”

Jonah McCartney will be attending Mount Union next fall for basketball.
Some courts have removed rims to prevent people from gathering to play basketball.

As McCartney continues to put in the work during self-isolation, he also achieved a personal goal during this time committing to play division-three basketball at the University of Mount Union next season.

“Early in my [senior] season, we were in a Christmas Classic where we played at Mount Union,” he said. “Luckily I had a good game and afterwards, their coach talked to me and told me they had interest and he started recruiting me.”

At that moment, McCartney said he knew he was going to be a Purple Raider.

“I really love the program [the coaching staff] put together,” McCartney said. “I also really like the campus – it’s a good size I wanted and it’s a good distance from my home.”

And he said he believes he can help the team succeed.

“They are losing three of their best players, so that’s where I think I can come and help them,” he said.

Despite the difficulties caused by remaining at home, he manages to find ways to get better. He said he has the motivation to improve and wants to be the best when he heads to Mount Union in a few months.

“I feel like I have taken advantage of this time as best as possible,” he said. “I put myself in a better position than most because I’ve gotten creative with the way I’m working out.”