Sports Women's Basketball

Hughey: Hectic 2020 an opportunity for athletes to grow

Head coach Ronald Hughey draws up a play during a timeout during last year's game against Temple. | Courtesy of UH Athletics

Head coach Ronald Hughey draws up a play during a timeout during last year’s game against Temple. | Courtesy of UH athletics

Over a million lives lost to COVID-19, record unemployment and natural disasters that have displaced thousands of people from their homes are just a few of the many unprecedented challenges 2020 has presented.

While 2020 has been a disaster for everyone, UH head women’s basketball coach Ronald Hughey sees this year as an opportunity to teach his team about the trials and tribulations that come in life so that they will be better prepared to face anything that comes their way in the future.

“I think that this year is going to do more than others to prepare (the team) for life because of the discipline they have in the adversity they will face,” Hughey said. “Things are changing every day and every week for us. That’s a lot like life.”

2020 has brought to light the harsh reality that nothing in life comes easy and often puts people in uncomfortable situations that they must persevere through.

“We all want things easy in life and we want everything to be smooth but this entire year is not going to be like that,” Hughey said. “With being successful, discomfort comes with that.”

The players have had to make many sacrifices this year, such as not going out to restaurants or parties so they can limit any possible of being exposed to COVID-19.

“They’re doing what we ask them to do and that requires discipline to do that day in and day out,” Hughey said.

Hughey has been intentional about comparing the challenges and discipline the team has had to have this year to future situations they might encounter, both on and off the court.

He used the analogy of running as a good way of describing the discomfort that comes in life and the benefits that come from pushing through the pain.

“When you run you can barely run a mile, but you keep running and keep running and then you can run four miles,” Hughey said. “It’s the same thing in life. You have to meet challenges head on and keep fighting to get through them.”

While Hughey has high hopes for his team this season, including winning the conference, this year is about much more than basketball, and he wants his players to grow from everything they have gone through in 2020 so that they have confidence that they can get through anything life throws at them in the future.

“We’re going to look back on 2020 and say man I remember this happening and that happening and now I’m much better for it. And that’s what we want to get our girls to try to understand.”

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