CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The defending national champion Virginia men’s basketball team could have been preparing for the Sweet Sixteen right now, but with the NCAA Tournament cancelled, everyone had to quickly go their separate ways.
For the seniors, especially, it was a sudden end, and now they have to focus on life after college basketball.
“Life’s been pretty strange," says senior Braxton Key. "I’m not used to having this much free time. There’s no class. There’s no going to practice. Nothing, really. It’s kind of weird, and everyone is just gone.”
But just because the campus is empty, doesn’t mean Key is getting unlimited runs at the gym.
“I have a gym in Richmond I can use, and obviously the gym here," says Key. "Weight room-wise, it’s hard to find weight rooms. MC has a gym somewhere. We’ll see how it all works out. Hopefully I can use McCue. I’m not really sure, exactly, everything is in the air and difficult.”
Key is planning on playing basketball professionally, and he’s signed with BDA Sports Management, in sunny California.
“My agent and I talked about things," says Key. He said, ‘It’s rare, right now you’d be training out here.’ But with the circumstances, and how everything goes, it’s just very difficult.”
Key only played two seasons at Virginia, after transferring from Alabama.
The 6-foot-8 guard/forward led the Cavaliers in rebounding both years, and helped the team win its first-ever national championship in 2019.
“UVA is a very special place," says Key. "I’m so grateful for it, and the opportunities that it’s presented to me, and I can’t really thank it enough.”
The NBA Draft is scheduled for June 25th.
How much of the normal preparation will take place, including player workouts for teams, is anyone’s guess.