All of the participating teams have now entered the NBA G League bubble at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando. 17 G League teams are set to feature in the bubble season, alongside the new G League Ignite team.
A player that is raring to go is 23-year-old Admiral Schofield, who was selected 1st overall in the 2021 G League Draft. Schofield will suit up for the Greensboro Swarm, the affiliate team of the Charlotte Hornets.
After being selected with the 42nd pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, the 6-foot-5 guard/forward spent his rookie season on the books of the Washington Wizards. He featured in 33 NBA contests, averaging 3 points and 1.4 rebounds.
Throughout the season, Schofield was assigned to the G League with the Capital City Go-Go. Where in 33 games, he recorded averages of 16 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2 assists.
Ahead of his sophomore campaign in the professional ranks, Admiral Schofield spoke to NBA Call-Ups during his quarantine period in the bubble. The Swarm, like many other teams, arrived in Orlando on January 27 and were subject to a 5-day room quarantine period.
“We just arrived in Orlando, about two days ago. We’re in quarantine for today and tomorrow, and then we’ll be out on Sunday getting back into the gym,” Schofield said. “I’ve been studying some plays this morning. I’m going to take the rest of my evening to play some video games, watch a little YouTube, some shows.”
Schofield praised and outlined the process of entering the bubble. Despite an early start, he and the team were in Orlando by mid-day, received an orientation, and quickly hurried to their rooms upon arrival, to begin a quarantine period.
“With the Swarm it was very smooth. I got up around 6.45, testing started at 7. We had two big charter buses that left around 9. We got to the airport around 10-10.15, through the gate, everything like that, bags checked. Then our plane took off around 11.30 and we got to Orlando around 1. Got here, went to an orientation with the league PA, did some more testing. Took some snacks back to the room and we’ve been in our rooms pretty much since then.”
Many fans are keeping close tabs on the G League bubble, just like with the identical 2020 NBA bubble, hoping to get a glimpse of the day-to-day activities of their favorite players. The Swarm star provided great insight into the bubble essentials he packed. He then went through what a typical bubble quarantine day consists of.
“I brought my PS5, my laptop, my Apple TV, I got my firestick as well. Got my JBL speakers, two basketballs, some bands. I got a couple of books with me as well,” Schofield said. “Just been in here staying busy and staying active as much as possible.”
“We wake up, I would say I get up around 8.30-8.45. They deliver breakfast right now to our rooms cause we’re in quarantine. Around 10 we have a team meeting on Zoom and we go over different schemes that we’re going to run in the bubble. Different things that the Hornets are doing as well, that we’re going to be doing in most of our games.”
“But, it’s really a good time to be having mental practice, to be prepared for when we step on the court. To be able to obtain things quicker and to be able to get to practice quicker so that we can start playing,” said the 23-year-old, signifying the importance of staying mentally prepared, as well as physically.
“After that we have another Zoom where we do ball handling for about 35-40 minutes with Coach Evan. It’s really good work, everyone gets a good sweat in the room,” Schofield said. “Right after that we have our team builder apps. The biggest thing is that we get the opportunity to stay moving, stay in somewhat type of shape, and being active in our rooms. But also we get to interact with guys.”
During the bubble, players, coaches and staff are subject to daily testing in order to maintain the integrity of the competition. Despite some doubts prior, the 2020 NBA bubble was completed without any major hiccups. It’s clear that the G League have similar aspirations.
Whilst players and staff were in a “room quarantine period”, their daily testing was administered externally. Meaning that they did receive the opportunity to leave their rooms for a short period of time, where they would all be evaluated together as a team.
“We test at 1 but in-between that, 1 to 5.30/45 period, it’s pretty much our time. To be able to play video games, going to dribble some more, we can do that. We can do whatever,” Schofield explained.
“Around 6 we usually have a guest speaker or another meeting with coach. To talk about what the Hornets are doing in their game. But to also talk about somethings that help us become better professionals and better men as we step out on the floor and compete.”
Despite there being “less perks”, the former Washington Wizard stated that his bubble experience is smooth sailing so far. To many it may sounds like a pleasant holiday break in Disney World, but Admiral Schofield was adamant that it’s all about basketball. All about making the most of the platform and opportunity that the G League bubble provides.
“Even though we’re in a bubble and they have activities and things like that, this is really a business trip. My goal is to be back in the NBA, just like the rest of these guys,” declared Schofield. “Being in this bubble, it gives me an opportunity, and a platform, to show what I’ve worked on offensively and my versatility. To be able to play 2 to 4, but also being able to guard 1 through 5. That’s one of the things I want to show in the bubble. For me, it’s a platform.”
A hectic, intense season is fast approaching for the 18 teams. The Swarm’s schedule consists of 15 regular season games in a short 23-day period. Depending on their performances, there’s the potential for a single-elimination playoff run in the 5 days beyond as well.
“While you’re here you got to be as focused as possible. I think the biggest thing is getting rest when you can. Especially with the games being pilled on top of each other,”
Admiral Schofield and the Greensboro Swarm completed their quarantine period and are amid a pre-season training camp. The team’s practice schedule begins at 9am, as they prepare for the unusual season that sits ahead.
Greensboro start proceedings on February 11, as they face the Westchester Knicks at 3pm EST live on ESPNU.
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