Different states, different conferences and different athletic governing bodies leads to a different set of rules, both academically and athletically. At Hannibal LaGrange University in Missouri, not only is Hillsboro graduate Jade Scroggins on the basketball court, but she is also attending classes in person.
“It feels amazing to be out there again,” said Scroggins of returning to play basketball for HLG. “We had not played since February, so it was a nine-month hiatus. I was craving the feeling of being in a game situation again. I remember when the scrimmaging started every Tuesday and Thursday, I was so excited. When I got to school originally, our open gyms were canceled so we had to wait even longer and longer to play.”
Thus far, Scroggins has played in all six games averaging 14 minutes per game. She has eight points, four rebounds, four assists and four steals. She has scored her points by hitting three field goals, one of which was a three-pointer, and one free throw.
Victories have been hard to come by for the Trojans, who are currently 1-5. One year ago as a freshman, she scored 57 points in 24 games on the court. She has made three starts thus far. Defensively, she has earned the distinction of being the best defender on the team and is tasked with shutting down the other team’s biggest scoring threat.
“The high point of my college career thus far is earning starts as a freshman,” said Scroggins. “It felt awesome being out there when I was only 18, knowing that there were women as old as 22. I was getting the third most playing time early on and then I got injured. I had to sit out over a month. We are out there playing, but many teams have had teams that have had to cancel because they have a player who has tested positive for the COVID-19. That has been tough to deal with, because we all want to play and I am sure the opposition feels the same way. I would like to win a few more games than we have been winning. It is tough to lose games and something I can never, ever get used to.”
Scroggins’ best performance of the year thus far has been her most recent performance. In the 71-50 loss to Missouri Valley College, Scroggins, who played 16 minutes, scored five points by hitting 2-of-4 from the floor. She bucketed her only three pointer in the contest.
Like many athletes, Scroggins, while in Illinois, had to think of creative ways to workout and stay in shape. Sometimes, again like many athletes, she would have to work out alone.
“When I first heard about the virus, believe it or not, I was in Florida on spring break,” said Scroggins. “We were told that we should not report to campus for two weeks after spring break officially ended. I was initially happy, because I did not think it was that serious and was happy to get another two weeks of vacation. I had driven to Florida, so it was easy for me to get home. I just simply drove home and then stayed home. I am thankful that I did not take public transportation down there, because it would have been much more difficult to get home. Of course, we never returned to campus in the spring and then looked at it as a very long summer.”
Scroggins was able to stay in shape by working out in her homemade gymnasium above her garage. There she would run on the treadmill and get her cardiovascular work in. In addition, she was able to download workout videos on YouTube and the college sophomore would workout with her sister.
“I invented new ways to get my workouts in, or maybe the proper term would be the ways that people used to work out before weights actually existed,” explained Scroggins. “I would throw my sister over my shoulders and squat with her. She is not even half of what I am supposed to squat. But, it is better than nothing. To replace my box jumps, I would start standing on our floor and jump over four steps and land on our platform. There is another friend of mine that is a college athlete as well and we would work out for 90 minutes and push each other. I also had a trainer that played Division I basketball that I would work out with.”
While the outside basketball courts had been shut down by the Illinois Department of Public Health and Governor JB Pritzker, Scroggins was able to shoot around on one of those courts when no one else was using them.
“I know the survival rate among people my age is like 99 percent if you get the virus,” said Scroggins. “It really does not worry me.”
Scroggins, the daughter of Craig and Tera Scroggins of Hillsboro, is academically working toward her bachelor of science in exercise science. She has made the HLG dean’s list two of her first three semesters. After completing her degree, she will seek a doctorate degree in physical therapy.
Happy Holidays, everyone!