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Friday, September 24, 2021

Coronavirus

Kelvin Sampson: Entire UH team has had COVID-19


UH coach Kelvin Sampson eyes the court of Fertitta Center during a game in 2019-20 against USF. He will not be on the sidelines on Saturday due to COVID-19 guidelines. | Mikol Kindle Jr./The Cougar

UH coach Kelvin Sampson eyes the court of Fertitta Center during a game in 2019-20 against USF. He will not be on the sidelines on Saturday due to COVID-19 guidelines. | Mikol Kindle Jr./The Cougar

Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson, who spoke to reporters on Thursday, revealed how COVID-19 has hit his team hard since December started, saying since the program returned in the summer, all 15 of his players have tested positive for the virus, and so have “some” of the coaches and managers.

Against South Carolina, which was on Dec. 5, UH was without both Kelvin (contact tracing) and lead assistant Kellen Sampson (positive) due to COVID-19 issues. What the program has learned since was that it was just the tip of the iceberg of what was to come.

The UH men’s basketball team has not played since that win over the Gamecocks. On Dec. 8, the Cougars paused all basketball activities after the team had more cases within the program, and had been like that until this past Tuesday when they were given the green light by their medical staff to practice again. At least for a few players.

Sampson said his team has held two practices since being cleared one on Tuesday and another on Wednesday — but only six players have been able to participate.

The head coach expects the same amount of individuals to be available for Thursday’s practice.

When the season began on Nov. 25, the Cougars were in the middle of a five-week streak of recording zero positive cases within the program, Sampson said, but shortly after the initial positive test within the team before the South Carolina, it spread throughout the roster.

“I don’t even know how to describe it,” Sampson said. “I’ve never seen (anything like) it. Never experienced it.”

As UH approaches Sunday when it will host Alcorn State inside of Fertitta Center, the UH head coach expects more of the players to be cleared and to have at least have eight or nine available for the contest.

Before those student-athletes are allowed to return, however, they must clear various steps, including a myocarditis examination, which focuses on the condition of a person’s heart.

UH sophomore guard Caleb Mills has been ruled out for Sunday’s game, Sampson said.

The Cougars, which are scheduled to begin conference play in the American Athletic Conference on Dec. 22 against Temple, are hoping to use Sunday’s matchup versus the Braves as a way to get back in rhythm after the long layoff.

“The guys that have been out for 10 days They’re out of shape,” said Sampson, who pointed out that his players have not been able to get any physical activity done while in isolation.

“It will take a while.”

For more of The Cougar’s coronavirus coverage, click here.

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