How COVID-19 is affecting winter break for Lindenwood student athletes

T.J.+Crockett+%28%231%29+attempts+a+free+throw+in+a+game+against+Bellarmine+on+Nov.+20%2C+2019.

James Tananan Kamnuedkhun

T.J. Crockett (#1) attempts a free throw in a game against Bellarmine on Nov. 20, 2019.

Will Crawford, Reporter

The holiday season is already shaping up to be different than years past, especially for Lindenwood University students and student athletes.

Najwa Chouati, a LU cross country athlete and international student, would usually return home for winter break, and then come back for the spring semester. But due to COVID-19, she is staying in the United States and hopes to be able to return home once summer hits.  

“I usually go home for winter break and summer, but this time I will be staying here, just in case,” Chouati said.  

Chouati says the virus didn’t ruin her Thanksgiving, as she does not celebrate the holiday, but other plans are being impacted. She celebrates her Christmas in normal times with her family, but this year she will be spending it with her second family.  

“I’m going to stay around here, spend Thanksgiving with my teammates,” Chouati said.  

Lindenwood also doesn’t allow students to stay in housing over the breaks, leaving students looking for places to stay if they were to not return home. One coach on campus is welcoming athletes into his home for the holidays. 

According to TJ Crockett, a senior men’s basketball player, head coach of the men’s basketball team Kyle Gerdeman has always welcomed his players in his home for Thanksgiving. 

“Last year I know that coach invited the guys if they wanted, and then my family were very welcoming. Anybody is welcome to come and grab a plate, and just enjoy family time,” Crockett said.