NBA -- From the hoops sidelines to the COVID-19 frontlines
By Homer D. Sayson
Fri, 05 Jun 2020
CHICAGO -- Around this time last year, Andrew Schroeder was scampering to secure a flight to Toronto, Canada where he covered the 2019 NBA Finals between the Raptors and the dynastic Golden State Warriors.
To say that this scorching summer has been different for Andrew is a gross understatement.
Like all basketball fans spanning the globe, Schroeder missed out on games to watch, exciting action to cover, and players to interview.
But unlike most us who have been sequestered at home as COVID-19 weaves its infectious spell worldwide, Andrew Schroeder has been hard at work as a registered nurse in a hospital, saving lives in the war against an unseen foe.
We plucked Andrew from his busy schedule and he graciously allowed us a glimpse in the window of life as a health care worker.
1) PhilBoxing.com: When and where did you earn your RN degree?
Andrew Schroeder: I earned my Bachelor's Degree at Purdue University. I was 24 years young then and I have since been practicing nursing.
2) PhilBoxing.com: What drove you to this calling?
Andrew Schroeder: The passing of my brother at a very young age created the goal to become a nurse. It was an aspiration that was inspired by interactions I have had with pediatric nurses throughout those difficult years of my late brother's treatment.
My brother had a rare disease that required years of time spent at the University of Chicago Children's Hospital for surgeries and chemotherapy, Due to his immuno-compromised state, even something minor such as a fever would require a thorough check-up. I witnessed all that as a young boy myself and it was amazing to see how nurses would be able to interact with my brother, make him happy and smile when you knew he had to be terrified.
The doctors were just as great and caring but it was the nurses who were at the bedside when he was scared and alone. The nurses would bring him toys and would do magic tricks/gags to make him laugh. The joy they brought to my brother during his brief stay in this Earth surely motivated me.
3) PhilBoxing.com: What's it like to be in the frontline of the COVID-19 fight and can you give us an idea what's it like behind the scenes?
Andrew Schoeder: It has been very interesting due to the weekly changes in policies and procedures across the world. I currently work on an IMCU in South Bend, the third largest city in the state of Indiana. It's a large teaching hospital that is considered a hub of all of the surrounding hospitals to send their acute and critical patients. My workplace has received COVID-19 patients that are considered low-risk we aren't given an N-95 mask or PAPR suit like the other units who have high-risk patients. The PPE shortage has been the major issue in my unit.
4) PhilBoxing.com: Are you scared getting infected and does that worry you?
Andrew Scroeder: I'm currently not working in a "hot spot" area such as New York or New Orleans so I am not too worried right now. I am a very healthy, active and young so I have a good chance to fight the virus. I am a travel nurse whose last contract ended on May 9 and my next destination will be to a "hot spot" area. I assume my view will change once I get deeper into the frontlines.
5) How and when did your love for the NBA begin?
Andrew Schroeder: I fell in love with basketball during my High School years watching the Chicago Bulls and the magnificent Derrick Rose. I was especially enamored with the 2010 season. I grew up an hour away from Chicago and I was born in the 90s during the Jordan era so the basketball culture was everywhere.
6) PhilBoxing.com: Who is your favorite player and why?
Andrew Schroeder at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto during the Warriors-Raptors Finals last year.
Andrew Schroeder: Derrick Rose. I fell in love with his game while falling deeper in love with basketball so I can't think of one without the other. It's a first love type of bond that cannot be broken. I was mesmerized watching a smaller player be so explosive and dominant on the court while also being uncommonly humble throughout the fireworks.
It's difficult to speak about D-Rose without mentioning the long list of injuries that had ravaged his career.
To endure those highs and lows, showing heart and dedication while he adapts his game to his new circumstances is an incredible feat.
I have so much respect for the man. He is an inspiration to never give up on your dreams no matter how hard the path gets.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Homer D. Sayson.
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