By Ray Hamill — Local AAU basketball is seeing a gradual return to action after North Coast gyms have been given the all-clear to re-open their doors.
Trey City in Samoa welcomed back its players on Tuesday of this week, while Team Beasts in Eureka is scheduled to open its doors on July 20.
Or at least sort of open its doors.
The Eureka club, which features 16 teams, is taking plenty of precautions as the players return, and will resume training outdoors only for now, after purchasing eight new hoops and setting them up outside.
“If it doesn’t spike or anything, we’ll open on the 20th and resume training sessions,” a cautious Team Beasts club director Eddy Vainuku said. “And we’re going to do things a little bit different.”
Both Trey City and Team Beasts will have restrictions in place, and will feature just small groups doing individual exercises for now.
“We’re doing personal training,” Trey City coach Dusty Scofield said. “We’re trying to stay six feet away and have just one person at a hoop.”
Likewise for Team Beasts.
“We’re trying to play it as safe as possible,” Vainuku said. “We’re not going to resume play until it’s the right time to resume play.”
Both gyms believe it’s important for their players to get back to some type of training for their mental health and well being after such a long layoff and the cancelation of much of their season.
Vainuku is hoping to have some games against local teams by late August, if it is safe to do so, but has no immediate plans to travel for any tournaments outside the area.
Despite that, however, the Eureka-based club has big plans for the coming months.
In addition to having local pro Mo Charlo back coaching, Vainuku has added a couple of big names to work with his players.
Charlo, a former Eureka High and University of Nevada star who plays in China, will be in the area to help out at some training sessions, as will another former Logger and USC player, Greg Allen, who will be joining the Team Beasts staff.
Also scheduled to begin work with the club this summer is NBA strength and conditioning coach Andre Mattson, who works for Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Hornets organization.
“This is a crucial time for us to do something for the kids,” Vainuku said. “We’re trying to get as many hands as we can to help the kids.”