Sports were shaken by the pandemic, with the NBA and MLB schedules being drastically altered in 2020. Bellevue College and the Northwest Athletic Conference as a whole were no different, with sports from last spring, fall and winter being postponed to the spring of 2021. Now they’re back in business, and nobody is more excited to be back than BC’s own Maui Sze.
Sze is a 5’11” freshman point guard out of Ingraham High School. He did not play basketball his senior year, meaning he had a full year off on top of those extra months the season was delayed. The mental aspect was rough, with Sze saying, “It was mostly hard just not knowing if I would be the same person back on the court again because it had been such a long time.”
First things first, the routine had to change. Gyms were closed and Sze found it difficult to get a workout in or practice on a court. The gym basketball courts were replaced by his driveway or local parks. He even ordered workout equipment for home, like dumbbells and a pull-up bar. His routine during quarantine would usually consist of morning workouts followed by running up stairs or hills. The afternoon was where he would shoot for 45 minutes to an hour twice a day, which was still only about half of what he could usually shoot in a gym.
This schedule didn’t inhibit him from keeping in touch with the team, however. Instead of connecting through basketball, they connected through online video games. In fact, Sze felt that “playing, talking, chillin’ about everything has really made me closer with a lot of the guys.” It’s more than just the season for him, as he seeks to make life-long relationships, saying, “I’m happy to say I love everyone on this team.”
Mentally, he has been sound in his desire to play collegiate basketball for as long as possible. He spent time during the long months thinking about school and the life after. While coaching has been something in the back of his mind, he also has a friend who works as a football agent at the Creative Artists Agency, spurring a potential desire to work as a basketball agent himself.
With Bellevue sports being back, the basketball team is fresh off a disappointing 2019-2020 season where they finished 3-25 overall. With nowhere to go but up, they have already matched and exceeded those totals in the first five games, posting a 4-1 record.
Sze is a major contributor to this torrid start. His 16.4 points per game is second on the team to O’Landa Baker, with just under six rebounds and three assists to boot. He’s a self-proclaimed competitive person who loves getting to play official games again. Sze contributed Coach Donald Brady to getting the team together in the gym as soon as possible, stating, “I think the main reason we’re off to such a good start is because of Coach Brady and the preparation that has been put in before the season ever started.” For now, Sze views every game as “going to war with my guys,” as they seek to make an impact in the NWAC.