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Right now, it’s all about skills for Spartans basketball

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TOWN OF UNION (WBNG) -- The Maine-Endwell boys basketball team is focusing on fundamentals, as they wait for the state to allow high-risk sports to be played in full.

Head coach Bill Ocker said high-risk sports are allowed to practice, as long as they are focused on individual skill development.

"No competing, no playing, no even small-sided games," said Ocker. "We do a lot of shooting and a lot of ball handling, as much individually as we can."

While the Spartans are grateful to be back on the court, they say being limited in practice has been frustrating.

"Week six or seven of only skill development and fundamentals, these guys are just chomping at the bit to get after each other," he said.

Senior Jack McFadden and junior Michael Mancini are making the most of what they can do right now.

"Even if we can't do team stuff we can still get better individually," said McFadden.

"It's amazing to be able to come out here and play with the guys, be able to run around," said Mancini.

As three-sport athletes, they're both getting ready to balance having three seasons within the span of six months.

"Definitely want to see how that works out," said Mancini. "But as long as I'm taking care of my body and doing what I'm supposed to, I think it's all going to pan out."

McFadden is also dealing with the challenge of getting recruited. While he has offers on the table, his choice depends on whether or not there is a basketball season.

"I'm still trying to see if we're going to have a season before I commit, so I can just maximize my potential," he said.

Ocker said as the January start date comes closer, they'll work toward getting in game shape.

"We'll be able to do a little bit more conditioning based stuff, that still will be socially distant and follow all the protocols," said Ocker.

While they wait for answers, Ocker and his team are embracing the opportunity they've been given.

"This is probably the most normal part of the day," said Ocker. In here, 3 o'clock with the kids after school."

"Whatever happens happens, and just get better every day so we're ready if that season comes," said McFadden.

Ocker said as of right now, league, sectional and state championships are still on the table.

Nicole Menner

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