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Wichita State Basketball alumni Ramon Clemente returns home from Puerto Rico amid pandemic


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – It happened fast.

“I was mid-season, healthy, fully healthy, in-shape and everything,” said Ramon Clemente, who played on the Wichita State basketball team from 2007-2009.

After his basketball season was indefinitely suspended in Puerto Rico due to the coronavirus pandemic, Clemente got on a flight to return to his home in Atlanta.

“It was like a regular flight, everyone wasn’t panicking just yet,” said Clemente.

Soon, he would have a reason to panic.

“When I got on the plane, that’s when I’m thinking something’s not right,” said Clemente. “I’m sitting there just shivering through a blanket. The more I shiver, the tighter I hold myself, and I’m shivering stronger and stronger. It was a nightmare.”

For the next two weeks, he would sideline himself.

“From my bed to my bathroom is probably about 15 feet apart to get up and walk, and I would have to get up, walk and hold on to the wall for a second, because I would feel dizzy,” said Clemente. “It was really bad.”

His symptoms hit in March, before COVID-19 testing was widely available.

“I 100% believe I had it. I didn’t want to go to the hospital because I didn’t want to be around more germs,” admitted Clemente.

Instead, he self-quarantined.

“I think I stayed in the house for a month-and-a-half straight before seeing another human or going anywhere, or having any human contact,” said Clemente. “Just recently, I started to step out here and there. Even with that, I’m pretty cautious.”

Now, he’s coming off the bench – making it a point to run at least three miles a day and using any resources at his disposal to stay in-shape; however, amid the pandemic, that doesn’t come without challenges.

“You can’t really go out and play like you want to play, because you don’t even have the cure for this thing, so you can’t move around too reckless.”

Clemente is under the impression that basketball isn’t coming back any time soon, based on conversations he’s had with the president of the Puerto Rican basketball league.

“Basketball you’re really sweating on each other the whole time, setting up and posting screens. I was told that basketball would be the last sport to start,” said Clemente. “This is how we eat, this is how we live, it just sucks, but it’s not just basketball. This just shifted everything for everyone, and no one expected this.”

When basketball does return, Clemente warns fans to lower their expectations for the time being.

“It’s going to be really weird. Sports are going to be a lot different for the next year, at least.”


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