Cheshire Phoenix guard Mike McCall Jr. admits having games cancelled due to Covid is a tough mental blow.

Seven of the eleven BBL teams have now had some kind of coronavirus-enforced stoppage with multiple fixtures postponed under the Return to Play protocols.

One of the worst-affected early on was Cheshire, who went 0-4 in the BBL Cup after an outbreak that occurred prior to McCall’s arrival.

But it’s a symptom that’s set to reoccur in the British Basketball League and, speaking in the first of a new series of the MVP Cast, the American concedes there is a price to pay beyond dealing with Covid itself.

“It sucks. We’ve had a whole week, preparing for teams,” he said. “Then you get close to game time. Guys are excited to play and then you get the news that the game is cancelled, you’re like argh.

“We’ve got to take that time out – either self isolating or waiting on the news of when our next game is going to be. It’s just tough because every guy here just wants to play. So if a game is cancelled or practice is cancelled, it breaks us a little bit. But that’s something we just have to deal with.”

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Being effectively trapped in the UK has added another dimension to the challenges faced by the BBL’s imported players with strict recommendations against leaving the country during the season, even if travel were available.

That’s made this campaign even more of a sacrifice, declares McCall, who will be parted from his partner and two-year-old daughter for almost eight months.

“Being away from them is tough every year. But this season actually feels longer. I started in Luxembourg and then they cancelled the season. Coming here was my second move.

“It’s good the season here has carried on. But it seems the season has been even longer with being away. My plan was to go home for Christmas but the schedule didn’t fit.”

Listen to the full interview with Mike McCall in the first of a new series of the MVP Cast, sponsored by Total Environmental Compliance.

Image: AhmedPhotos

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