‘No closure’: High school star athlete reflects after pandemic ends season


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It’s every student athlete’s dream to close out their high school sports career with a state title, or even a fighting chance.

However, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, senior guard Jesse White’s time at Sam Barlow High School was over before he even knew it.

“It’s tough because I know I won’t ever be able to play with my teammates again and we won’t be able to compete for the state championship,” White said. “We were sitting in class, then my assistant coach texted us in a group chat and said the state tournament was canceled. We thought it was going to be rescheduled, but it wasn’t.”

White, like many seniors in high school and college athletics, was blindsided by the cancellation of his sport. He’s still coming to terms with the likely abrupt end to his high school life, as well, as state officials prepare for so-called “Distance Learning” for students to round out the academic year.

“It’s just hard to swallow because there was no closure,” he said.. “It was our senior year, we had great chemistry and we had a great group.”

One of the hardest things for White to accept is he played his last game under Barlow head basketball coach Tom Johnson. He says the bond between the two runs deep, as White looked up to Johnson ever since he was young.

“It is extremely emotional and sad, but you have to just appreciate the time and moments we had together,” White said.

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