Grand Rapids Community College is testing basketball players weekly for COVID-19 through a partnership with Ferris State University. The program is part of GRCC’s commitment to keep student-athletes safe while competing.
Interim Athletic Director David Selmon says the testing exceeds safety protocols prescribed by the National Junior College Athletic Association and the Michigan Community College Athletic Association.
Through a partnership with the Ferris College of Pharmacy, students, coaches, and training staff participating in contact sports will receive weekly antigen tests, with results available in about 15 minutes. The tests are administered by Ferris faculty and students, and are set up to continue through the end of the season.
“We’ve adopted several protocols to keep our student-athletes as safe as possible during the pandemic,” Selmon says. “This is an additional step, but we think it is an important one for teams competing in contact sports. Ferris has been an excellent partner for GRCC over the years, and we appreciate being able to work together on this testing.”
Following safety guidelines
GRCC Athletics is closely following safety guidelines from the NJCAA and MCCAA, including requiring face coverings, social distancing where possible, and prohibiting spectators from the arena during games. That’s in addition to GRCC policies, which include daily health screenings and frequent deep cleanings.
“This is another signal that our leadership is keeping the safety of our students first in mind,” women’s coach David Glazier says. “Our students can safely engage in athletics, and we appreciate that these extra steps are being taken. It definitely keeps us moving.”
Sophomore basketball player Richard Major says the testing gives athletes peace of mind as they work through the season, which began last week after being delayed for several months due to the pandemic.
Testing ‘not too bad’
The testing involves a pair of nasal swabs, which are then run through a device.
“It’s not too bad,” Major says. “It’s something we need to do to be able to play safely. It will help us stay on the court and get the season in.”
All GRCC basketball and volleyball home games are being live-streamed and archived at MichiganSportsRadio.com
. Additional information about the basketball teams is available at grccraiders.com.
Grand Rapids Community College offers affordable classes on weekdays, evenings, Saturdays, and online at locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.