Fort Kent, Maine—In a season with so much uncertainty, there is much fear among UMFK Basketball supporters that there will not be a basketball season this winter. However one thing is certain, Head Men’s Basketball Coach Tom Bird will be doing his best to make sure his team is prepared to play, whether that be this season or the next.
Through close to six weeks of practices and workouts, Tom Bird is hoping for the best, both in terms of being able to compete this season and for the future success of the program in general. Coach Bird said, “I’m hoping the state of Maine as well as U-Maine system safety regulations will allow us to play basketball this year. Ordinarily I’m upset if we play less than 30 games in a season, now I’d be thrilled with playing just two or three.”
An added task to an already challenging set of circumstances is that Coach Bird is having to add a number of new players to a team with some very proven and experienced players. The challenge will be getting the inexperienced, yet talented crop of young men to gel together with the returning core and buy into the system plus a new school despite the challenges COVID-19 creates. Coach Bird continued, “The pandemic has created a ton of obstacles in terms of how we live our lives at UMFK and how we can conduct practices and workouts, but remaining flexible has always been a big part of who we are as a program. I like the group of guys we have and am pleased with how our workouts and practices have gone. The guys have been working very hard.”
Coach Bird will be demanding the best out of the guys in hopes of taking the next step at the national tournament and reaching a national championship, whenever the opportunity presents itself. The team has a talented group of newcomers combining with the experienced returners coming back so expectations will be high when our world returns to normal, and the ball begins to bounce again.