College basketball coaches Mike Krzyzewski of Duke University and Roy Williams of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill replaced the pregame handshake most coaches use in sports with a playful elbow bump amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Krzyzewski and Williams made the switch from the classic handshake to the elbow bump at Saturday’s game between Duke and North Carolina. The greeting prompted reaction from audiences and social media alike, the New York Daily News reported.
The elbow bump between the two coaches comes as the coronavirus continues to to take its toll. Over 100,000 people have contracted the virus, with over 3,000 deaths so far.
The coronavirus has become a global concern, and the sports world is not excluded from it. Sports leagues are assessing next steps, with contingency plans to play games behind closed doors or cancelling them altogether. As the NCAA gets closer to March Madness, the organization’s COVID-19 advisory panel issued a statement Friday:
“The NCAA COVID-19 Advisory Panel recognizes the fluidity of COVID-19 and its impact on hosting events in a public space. The panel members believe that we need to better understand COVID-19 while continuing to work with local, state and federal health authorities such as the CDC. The key is for all stakeholders and athletes to practice risk mitigation at all events. At present the panel is not recommending cancellation or public spacing of athletic and related events scheduled to occur in public spaces across the United States.”
According to The Athletic, the NBA reportedly sent a memo to their teams indicating that they should prepare for playing games without fans in attendance due to the coronavirus situation.
Both Krzyzewski and Williams have a storied history as rivals and it continued on Saturday night. While not as competitive as their last match-up, Duke came away with a 89-76 win over North Carolina, sweeping the regular season series between them.
The highlight of the game was Duke’s Justin Robinson, who in his final home game set and matched his career highs in almost all statistical categories. The son of NBA champion David Robinson, Justin Robinson impressed all, especially his coach.
“It’s better than ‘Rudy,'” Krzyzewski said, as reported by ESPN, making a reference to Notre Dame’s iconic story of Rudy Ruettiger. “It’s almost like a movie. He’s been outstanding, and hopefully he keeps it going.”
Duke will stand at the fourth seed in the league as it enters the ACC tournament.