Basketball teams bounce around the city for practice and games


Shadera Moore

Cameron Dumas faces an opponent at the men’s basketball game held in Tulane’s Devlin Fieldhouse arena on Oct. 23, 2021. It was the team’s first game since they were displaced from the University Sports Complex in September.

The Wolf Pack currently has no home court. The Loyola men’s and women’s basketball teams are bouncing around the city for practice and games after damage from Hurricane Ida forced the closure of the University Sports Complex in September.
The men’s team relocated to Dallas to ride out the storm and have been practicing at Xavier University of Louisiana and Tulane University since their return. In addition to the change in location, the team faced a major shakeup in their daily schedule.
According to head coach Stacy Hollowell, the team was scheduled to have strength and conditioning in the morning followed by afternoon practice.
“We’ve had to flip that, so now we’re practicing early and lifting in the afternoon,” Hollowell said. “It’s been a little bit of an adjustment, but I feel like dealing with COVID last year really helped prepare us to expect the unexpected and stay focused on our goals.”
Despite the tough start, Hollowell said the team has high expectations for the year, including making it to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics conference and national tournaments.
“We have an experienced group that has qualified for the last three national tournaments,” Hollowell said. “And although we do have things to work on, I’d be selling ourselves short by believing we didn’t have a legitimate chance to compete for the national championship.”
In their season opener, the men’s team set a new school record for margin of victory, the difference in points between the winning and losing team, with a 134-56 victory over North American University. The 78-point lead betters the previous mark of 73 points set last season against the same opponent.
The women’s basketball team is coming off a historic two-loss season and has won seven of the last eight Southern States Athletic Conference titles.
“Our goal for this year is to win our conference again,” said head coach Kellie Kennedy. “We have a great, talented group of ladies, and I’m looking forward to the start of the season.”
The team has found a temporary home at Jesuit High School in Mid-City, where they meet for practice.
“We were fortunate with the hurricane coming when it did, because we hadn’t really gotten into our routine yet, so we’re still figuring it out,” said Coach Kennedy. “It did kind of give everyone a chance to bond and really come together.”
Both teams are still trying to figure out a permanent plan to host games this semester until the campus gym is available for use. They will use gyms around the city and play road games until then.
The women’s team will start their season on Nov. 1 with an exhibition game against Tulane University. The men will play their next game on Nov. 4 against Louisiana State University-Shreveport. They are currently 2-0 after defeating North American University and Xavier University New Orleans.