The sports world was put on hold amid the coronavirus pandemic, leaving college and high school seniors to ask, “What if?”
ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt started a Twitter thread called #SeniorNight that garnered thousands of responses to honor athletes who didn’t have a chance to play for a championship or seniors who played their last game without ever realizing it.
Van Pelt’s post, which was retweeted more than 15,000 times and received over 89,000 likes, highlighted only a fraction of the stories from college and high school athletes over the past few weeks.
Senior gymnasts from Illinois, Oklahoma, LSU and more look back on the best moments from their college careers.
Honoring seniors whose seasons were cut short
The past 14 months have been horrifying, heartbreaking and hopeful for Louisiana Tech’s Parker Bates, the nation’s top-hitting senior before the abrupt ending of the NCAA baseball season. Ryan McGee
Princeton all-time scorer Michael Sowers plans to use his mulligan of a senior season at Duke after the Ivy League made it clear it would not grant a fifth year of eligibility. Ivan Maisel
Given the chance to play one more year after COVID-19 wiped out her senior season, Miami’s Estela Perez-Somarriba delayed going pro to defend her singles title. D’Arcy Maine
Arizona’s Jessie Harper learned discipline to become a better hitter than a slugger. That patience will help the senior near the NCAA softball home run record. Graham Hays
FIU beach volleyball duo Margherita Bianchin and Federica Frasca opted to stay in South Florida rather than return to Italy, where the coronavirus struck ahead of the United States. Andrea Adelson
Scott Van Pelt spotlights teams from Westport, Connecticut, Utica, New York, and more as he begins Week 3 of #SeniorNight, honoring those whose seasons were cut short.
Revisiting #SeniorNight with Scott Van Pelt
Many high school and colleges athletes across the country played their last games without realizing it after the coronavirus outbreak cut their seasons short. Scott Van Pelt honored them. Read more
ESPN writer Wayne Drehs goes in-depth on the seniors he talked to and how inspirational they are after having their seasons taken from them by the coronavirus pandemic.