Due to the rapid spread of the pandemic coronavirus, the Lowco Basketball Showcase will be postponed until a later date. The inaugural event had been scheduled for March 27-28 at Beaufort Academy.
“With the health and safety of the participants and fans in mind, as well as the overall health of the community, we wanted to operate with an abundance of caution,” LowcoSports founder Justin Jarrett said. “We want the Lowco Basketball Showcase to be an inviting community event for all ages. Given that public health experts are discouraging large gatherings, we didn’t feel it was wise to pack up to 500 Lowcountry basketball fans into the gym and potentially put one another at risk. We wouldn’t want anyone who is at-risk, such as the elderly, children, or people who are immunocompromised to feel discouraged from attending the event.”
The pandemic is affecting sporting events around the globe. On Wednesday, the NBA announced it was suspending the regular season after Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert was diagnosed with COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by this particular strain of coronavirus. A day later, Gobert’s teammate Donovan Mitchell also tested positive, and the league asked five teams who played the Jazz in the past 10 days to self-quarantine, including the Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons, and Toronto Raptors. Utah has played three games since Friday, against the Celtics, Pistons, and Raptors.
Other leagues followed suit Thursday, as the NHL suspended its season and Major League Baseball announced it will suspend operations indefinitely, likely resulting in the loss of at least part of the regular season. Every NCAA Division I conference canceled its men’s basketball tournament, and the PGA Tour announced it will play its events without spectators through the Valero Texas Open from April 2-5. The RBC Heritage Presented By Boeing is scheduled to be played two weeks later at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island and is proceeding as planned for now.
Public health experts recommend taking aggressive “social distancing” measures to prevent the spread of an epidemic or pandemic and “flatten the curve” to avoid overloading the healthcare system and overtaxing the supply chain. That includes avoiding large gatherings, physical contact, and confined spaces.
Although there has not yet been a confirmed case in Beaufort County, there is a high likelihood that there are local cases that have not yet been diagnosed. With two weeks until the event, it was necessary to make a proactive decision before beginning final preparations.
“We don’t want to be part of the problem,” Jarrett said. “The Showcase will go on. We will just have to find another date so we can provide a great, entertaining atmosphere where the entire community feels comfortable coming out to celebrate the local talent and support the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Lowcountry in a healthy environment.”