RICHLAND, WA - What are athletes doing to stay in shape during this time?
The Northwest Heat Girls Basketball team is still competing, but in a creative way.
Long before they are the players we showcase on SWX, they were probably coached by this guy...
"Going to work and coaching basketball is pretty much what I've been doing for the past 14 years," said JJ Fiander, 20 Year Veteran Hanford Fire Captain and 14-year Heat Basketball Coach
JJ Fiander has been a fight fighter for Hanford for 20 years, but when he's not fighting fires, he's heating things up on the court. Fiander had coached the Northwest Heat Girls Basketball program for 14 years. Players have come and gone..
"It does take its toll on you doing it for so long," said Fiander.
But his efforts to make his players better, hasn't wavered.
"He helped us become mentally tough as well as physically," says Malia Ruud, Northwest Heat Basketball Player.
The pandemic may have slowed their progress, but not for long...
Fiander with the help and skills from daughters June and Hanna, created workout videos to stay connected.
"Everyone was used to practicing 2 days at least, so going from that to nothing, I knew there was something that needed to happen to maintain what we had practiced before and maybe even get better depending on how hard you wanted to push yourself," said Fiander.
Staying connected and still competing... Each of the 10 workout videos has a competition piece where they all post their times and score.
"Both of my parents tried to do it also and tried to get close to my time," said Marisela Contreras, Northwest Heat Basketball Player.
"I do the workouts as well and I'll post my time too, so I'll see if anyone can beat the coach, so thats a good way to stay connected as well," said Fiander.
Competing with each other and against the hardships of the pandemic, the Northwest Heat are making sure they're getting better coming out of this.
"Seeing them develop and become really good people is what make it. Just like these girls we're talking to now; I've had them since they were shorter than me. They are all taller than me now," said Fiander.
They are inviting the public to join in. Find the workouts on their YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/user/fianderj
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