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Many people found themselves with a lot of extra free time on their hands at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Miramonte basketball captains Ryan Schwarz and Niyi Olabode would say that this time can be thought of as a blessing in disguise. Both players believe that they have improved more during this last offseason than any other one.
“With online class, we have so much time, we all have hoops and our friends have weight sets at their houses,” Olabode said. “We have really just been grinding since the start of quarantine. I feel like we are in the best shape of our lives.”
When Miramonte was able to practice as a team, they were limited to practicing on outdoor courts. Obviously they would rather be practicing indoors, but both players are looking on the bright side of the situation. They believe that practicing outdoors has given them a better sense of dedication to the game.
“Practicing outdoors definitely helps with getting gritty and working hard,” Schwarz said. “Especially with the weather, we practice in the morning, rain or shine.”
All the hard work and dedication that Schwarz and Olabode have shown this offseason is what makes them standout players. As juniors, Olabode was the second-leading scorer on the team (9.6 points per game) and Schwarz was the fourth-leading scorer on the team (7.3 points per game). With this in mind, it sure seems like the two are ready to take the reigns of the team.
Both players are itching to get out there and have a season.
Schwarz and Olabode are both entertaining offers from various collegiate programs. Schwarz has offers from Cal Lutheran, Linfield and UC Santa Cruz. Olabode has received offers from Menlo College and University of Redlands, and he is also getting interest from Cal Poly Pomona, Chico State and UC Riverside.
Both athletes have shown true dedication and love for the game through this extended offseason. They are hopeful that they can get the opportunity to show what they have worked on this season. Regardless, both athletes will be seen performing at the collegiate level in a year.
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