Cole Anthony has not announced whether he is returning to UNC or heading to the NBA Draft. There weren't too many people expecting him to return to UNC after his first year, but with injuries and tough freshman year, the thought of Anthony returning is possible; it's like a 20% chance but likely.
But we aren't here to talk about Cole's draft projections, his ability to spread the offense or the fact that despite missing 11 games, Cole was still the second-highest scoring freshman in the NCAA... none of that is relevant right now, Anthony's community effort is what's giving him the push for any team to want him.
Anthony has been using his star power to bring perspective, expertise, and insight. The live Q&A took place via Anthony's Instagram and was joined by Dr. Pardeep Thandi, who is an emergency room resident at the Brooklyn Hospital; the live provided answers to questions such as how to stay safe, will there be a vaccine, and what the public can do to help those in need.
"First things first, I just want to send out a prayer to the Town's family. I saw his mom, unfortunately, passed away due to complications of Coronavirus. It's really unfortunate, and that's why I'm on here to really help educate some people and to hopefully answer any unanswered questions people had"
Anthony has also been preparing and delivering meals to healthcare workers who are fighting this head-on at Harlem Hospital.
On March 24, Anthony relayed a message to fans as to why he's postponing his announcement date,
"A lot of people have been asking me if I am going to declare for the NBA Draft. Anyone who knows me understands that playing in the NBA has been a lifelong dream of mine, but given the pain that America and the world are experiencing at this time, I am going to refrain from making any announcements around that topic. Instead, I believe the platform I have been blessed to create because of the game I love so much, should be used for a higher purpose in this moment. (That doesn't mean I will stop being a kid and enjoying social media, Tik Tok, etc.) But living in New York City, the Coronavirus hits hard. My family and I know many people directly affected by the Coronavirus-many hospitalized. A few in critical condition and one who has died. New York City is experiencing the highest number of Coronavirus cases in the United States. So my biggest concern right now is trying to figure out how I can help during this crisis. We are all in this together! Stay safe."
Sports are incredibly important. They provide an escape, team morale, and bragging rights over opponents (mainly if you're apart of the Tobacco Road rivalry), but what happens when all of it is taken away? COVID-19 has stopped the world in its tracks, but I genuinely believe there is some good in this. We're are seeing in real-time people's priorities and willingness to help others; we're observing what humanity will do when all we have is each other.
Corporations are suddenly forced to treat an employee like human beings and see the worth in their employment. Small businesses are proven to be the staples and stability in local communities. And little things such as sports become a back burner when you're family is affected. All of these things are being highlighted during a tragedy, a tragedy that will change the world forever. There is no such thing as going back to 'normal'; this will be our new normal.
No one knows when sports is returning. The thought of it returning before there is a vaccine is almost impossible; the risk is too significant. There have been options to play without fans but UNC head football coach, Mack Brown said it best,
"If it's not safe for fans, why would it be safe for the athletes?"
There's no timetable for any of this. Some are pointing to November to open the public back up to full capacity, and others are saying quarantine and practicing social distancing could be until 2022; regardless of the date, safety has become a priority. Seeing Karl Anthony Town's mother, Jacqueline, transition because of this disease puts life into perspective. Town's isn't concerned about the return of a sport when he just lost the most important person in his life. Examples like this will be used in accessing the danger of an early and unprepared return just for money.
So please, take care of your family and friends. Wash your hands. We will come out of this stronger, healthier and with more awareness for how we treat each other; time used for healing a busy world.
For more information on how to help or to make donations, please visit NYCService.org and/or email, email@example.com