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Jay Hernandez: Obviously, it was being away from loved ones, but the hardest technical part was never turning the switch off. Trying to teach eight rookies through games, building chemistry through quarantine, having to organize practices, figure out rest times, scheduling, game preparation, previous game evaluation, team film, individual film, written reports, player development, managing emotions and more. There was no outlet to get away so you were in it 100 percent. When I got home, I finally decompressed and fell asleep watching television and went to bed by 10 pm when my average sleep time in the bubble was 2:30 am.
Jay Hernandez: The time has finally arrived. The NBA G league bubble is officially going to happen in Orlando, Florida. We will be staying at Coronado Springs in Walt Disney World and get to play at least 15 games. Due to the times that we are in, the health and safety of everyone entering the bubble is paramount. All of the Greensboro Swarm staff and players going to Orlando must first come to Charlotte and quarantine for seven days. Everyone gets tested daily, be isolated in their rooms and finding ways to pass the time. After the seventh day, we’re off to Orlando where we will have to quarantine for four more days. As the head coach of the team, it is my responsibility to make sure that I am collaborating with the staff to ensure the players are staying as active as possible.
Jay Hernandez: With the help of the Hornets staff, we were able to put together binders with key defensive and offensive terminology, along with sets, a motivational section and an area where they can take notes and draw plays on blank diagrams. Our mantra is the “Fighter Mentality” so we got rubber bracelets made with that saying on it. Everyone also got a book from a former professional Muay Thai Champion, called Chap Up by Chris Romulo. The book reinforced to our players that no matter the circumstances you always have a choice. You can stay down or continue to fight and change the narrative. Everything about this past year has been a fight – from social justice, Covid, not being able to do what we love or being able to see loved ones and more. We want our players to know that getting to this point hasn’t been easy and to appreciate this opportunity the G league has presented and that the Hornets have invested in. The quote that we have been saying is, “appreciation for what you have will make you fight harder to keep it”.