WATCH: Jules Bernard and Jaime Jaquez Jr. break down COVID break from UCLA men’s basketball

UCLA men’s basketball goalie Jules Bernard and goaltender / forward Jaime Jaquez Jr. both spoke to the media on Tuesday before practice, less than 24 hours after their Wednesday night game against Arizona was canceled. State. The couple spoke about what they have done to stay fit and spend their time with the Bruins facing COVID-19 issues over the past month, returning to Call of Duty and Fortnite to help pass the time during the team’s unprecedented break.


Challenge to return to the field? Pulsive?

Yes, it was quite difficult. Mostly just being in quarantine. And for me, I live alone and I don’t have a gym in my apartment or anything like that. I was just trying to do my best to stay flexible and work out as much as possible. But it’s hard during confinement, we get bored. We didn’t have a school or anything to keep us busy. Coming back, it was a bit hard. The legs, we feel a little weird. Also our packaging. It was difficult, but over the days, throughout the training that we continued with the coach, we kind of strengthened our physical condition, and now we are resuming training normally. The process was difficult, but I’m glad we’re here now.

Shoes? Foam roller?

Yes, I have tried everything I can just with the weight of the body. Bodyweight squats, push-ups, things of that nature. And then I have yoga mats and stuff, so I did my best to stretch every night before I went to bed. So just little things like that. But nothing can prepare you to resume a workout after 10-12 days without actually playing basketball or even touching basketball. So with all that, it was still a little difficult, but just trying to prepare myself and be ready for the comeback was my main goal.

Mentality trying to find a match to schedule?

It’s hard. I mean, we all want to play, but we get it. We’ve been through that, so we understand what it’s like for other teams going through it and we know what they’re going through. So we understand this aspect. But we really want to play and the coach is trying to get us to play, to play us tomorrow, actually. He’s in his office, probably on his phone trying to get a game right now. We just stay ready, as we normally do. The training will likely be normal and intense. But as basketball players, and above all, I have the impression that our team, we like to play, so we are always ready for anything and stay ready for any game. We understand the circumstances in which we find ourselves. So just being prepared is something we’re used to.

Group texts? Did someone say something funny to boost morale?

Yeah, as a team we’ve got group texts and we’ve also had Zoom meetings with the coaches and so forth, keeping things light and keeping up to date and things of that nature. As a team, we talk every day, so it’s not like anything has really changed. Every time we leave practice and come home, we still talk about certain things in our group texts and stuff like that. So none of that has changed. It’s just that we couldn’t see each other physically. And then our Zoom group meetings were enjoyable too.

The longest stretch without playing basketball? Choose new hobbies?

Yes, I would say it’s definitely one of the longest stretches that I haven’t played a game. We practiced a bit and got back to the nitty-gritty, but the simple fact not being able to play games has been around for quite a long time. Especially during the winter break when we had no homework and I had to stay home, I had to pick up the video games and start playing Call of Duty, stuff like that. But that’s about all. Normally I relax and spend time in my apartment anyway, so nothing much different. I just play video games a little more, that’s all.


How has it been since December 15? Frustrating after zero COVID cases last year?

I think it’s just COVID that has caught up with us. As you said, last year no cases of COVID. And this year we’ve had a bunch of cases in our team. And then the teams we’re supposed to play get it. I think it’s just that it caught up with us. This is the world we live in today, and we are doing all we can to stay prepared.

Able to do everything to stay in shape?

Yeah, I try to do as much as I can, like stretching, stuff like push-ups, and stuff with resistance bands. It’s kind of what I did when I was locked in quarantine.

Game plan simplified after so much free time?

I think we’ll try to do what we usually do. I don’t think our game plan is really changing. I mean, we resumed training all last week and then resumed this week. So I think we are getting back to the heart of the matter.

Collegial experience facing COVID? New quarantine hobby?

I’ll start with that first [second] question first, just because when I was locked in quarantine, I jumped into Fortnite. This is something I did. I used to play in high school and a bit when I was in first grade. I quit playing video games for a while and then as soon as quarantine hit I just got back to Fortnite. And then I kind of looked at these COVID cases like a little All-Star break. You know how much the NBA takes a break in the middle of its season. I kind of tried to look at it like that, but it stretches a little longer than we would like. But that’s how I saw it at the start. Like I said, we are doing everything we can to stay ready.

Gabriella is playing well – able to watch?

I went to her game after I got out of quarantine against Canyon High School where she had 45 points. So that’s pretty cool. I have one live and in person. So yes, she plays very well. I’m really happy for her. His team is fantastic. I just can’t wait to see what she does in the future.

Sister a factor in the decision to return to UCLA?

I think overall it would be something really cool for me and her and my family to be able to see at UCLA. I think that would be really cool and something really special.

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Evelyn C. Tobin