LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) – The New Mexico State men’s basketball team returned home on Friday empty-handed and heart broken. The Aggies were scheduled to defend their WAC Tournament championship this weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada, but instead got sent home following the WAC’s announcement that they had canceled the tournament due to COVID-19. Less than four hours after that, the NCAA Tournament was also canceled due to the coronavirus.
“It just sucks knowing that we can’t keep playing for a bigger goal,” said senior guard Trevelin Queen. “It’s a bigger goal that we’ve had since the beginning of the season and it was taken away from us just like that.”
The news hit the six seniors on this team especially hard, knowing they had already played their last collegiate basketball game.
“My body turned off. I didn’t know what to say and I didn’t know what to do,” said senior forward Ivan Aurrecoechea. “I think about the game a couple weeks ago here [Pan American Center] against CBU was my last game with my family and that’s a big hit for me. I’m still thinking about it. I’m understanding that it’s bigger than basketball right now.”
“I really put a lot into the New Mexico State basketball program,” said senior guard Shunn Buchanan. “I’m really going to miss it. It has been the best three years of my life and I just thank them for everything.”
The NCAA announced on Friday that spring sports student-athletes will receive eligibility relief, but it is unclear if that will also apply to winter sports student-athletes.