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Parents say student athletes feel pressured to play ball, as high school sports get ready to resume amid pandemic

Some athletes and their parents say they fear if players don't participate right now, they will lose their spots and possible scholarships.

It's what players and many parents live for those "Friday Night Lights" in Texas. But this year it's different with COVID-19.

In all areas of sports from football to basketball, there's concern.

"It's just a scary time for us,” said Shonny DeBouse-Young.

DeBouse-Young has a son who plays elite basketball in the summer and a cousin who is a football player at a high school in Fort Worth.

"Where it presents somewhat of a concern is when they are actually in contact with one another during the actual games. Where they are not able to social distance,” said DeBouse-Young. 

Some athletes are worried about what happens if they decide not to participate. They feel pressured to play not only to keep their spot on the team, but there are possible scholarships on the line. 

"A lot of our children unfortunately, may not qualify for scholarships etc. And recruiters can't recruit if kids aren't playing,” said DeBouse-Young.

Muhammad Shabazz is a former NBA player runs Belief Basketball Sharpshooters, an elite league. He says he understands the pressure but also wants to reassure his players. 

"We tell them that your spot is not gone, that spot is secure. We are not going to move you out of the way because you decide during a pandemic that you don't want to go out there,” said Shabazz. 

He says his league has been practicing and playing for weeks and says they are sanitizing, wearing masks, taking temperature tests and trying to protect players. 

“As long at the governor is going let us play we are going to play and God willing nothing happens to any of us because we are doing everything we are supposed to,” said Shabazz. 

Shabazz says only two players have tested positive, and he hopes to keep those numbers down. 

So while the UIL delays the start of some sports, including football until September, others play on and hope that they will win against the virus.

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