SINCLAIRVILLE – A professional basketball team in Jamestown is getting ready to hit the court for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Jamestown Jackals are slated to hold their first game this weekend in Warren, Pennsylvania, however, there are several changes this year that fans are not used to seeing in the past.
“There will be a limit of 200 fans at the YMCA this weekend,” says Kayla Crosby, owner of the team. “We will be doing temperature checks and all fans will be required to wear masks. All tickets and merchandise will be sold outside as well.”
Five players return from years past, including team captain Raheem Singleton who this year will take on a new role of player/coach.
Singleton says it is a relief to be back on the court after the wrench that COVID-19 threw into the team’s last season.
“After a time of a lot of uncertainty, it means a step in the right direction. It’s very uplifting. The fans get to come out after being isolated and not being able to interact with each other. We need that social dynamic for everybody,” explained Singleton.
More so than the games themselves, Crosby’s theme for this year and beyond is community. She wants the players to heed this call.
“We hire the players as mentors and positive role models. That’s the biggest thing for our organization,” said Crosby. “We are working with a consultant right now to set up a full mentoring program. We will be advertising the requirements and demographics of students that we are looking for.”
Singleton is certainly buying into it.
“I tell all the guys. We’re Jamestown’s NBA. A lot of these kids will never have the luxury of going to an NBA game, so you hold a greater value to them,” said Singelton. “They get to see you and have conversations. It’s not just for us, it’s for them and they get to see the light at the end of the tunnel and that’s the best part about it.”
To buy tickets, and for more information about this year’s season visit jamestownjackals.ticketleap.com.