Hawks Players Return to Practice Facility

Ben Ladner

For the first time since the NBA suspended its season -- and practice facilities across the league closed shortly thereafter -- players on the Atlanta Hawks visited the Emory Sports Medicine Complex in Atlanta on Thursday afternoon. 

A video on John Collins' Instagram story showed himself, Kevin Huerter, and Bruno Fernando in the parking lot of the practice facility. It's the first known instance of Hawks players getting back in the gym since mid-March. 

Shortly after the NBA season paused, Huerter moved back up to New York to stay at his parents' house, where he had access to weights and an outdoor hoop. Collins and Fernando have remained in Atlanta. 

The NBA has been on hiatus since March 11, when the league had its first positive test for COVID-19, and the Hawks closed their practice facility on March 18. 

On May 8, the NBA allowed teams in states or cities with relaxed stay-at-home orders to reopen their gyms to allow players to work out individually (or, apparently, in small groups) in preparation for the possible resumption of the season. Full team workouts and practices still aren't permitted, and the Hawks waited until May 11 to reopen the Emory Sports Medicine Complex after GM Travis Schlenk expressed concern over the safety of reopening. 

The NBA appears determined to resume play this season, though the Hawks' immediate future still has yet to be decided. The league reportedly wants to complete a 70-game regular season (Atlanta has played 67), though it could forgo the rest of the regular season and go straight into the postseason, which would mean the 20-67 Hawks won't play another game. 

Even with so much in doubt, Collins, Huerter, and Fernando are staying ready. 

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