GREENSBORO, N.C. – It was a dark day for professional sports.
The day was March 11 and a positive coronavirus test of Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert sent shockwaves across the world of sports. The NBA suspended the season and most of professional sports followed.
Former UNC guard Theo Pinson was left wondering what to do next.
League facilities were shut down and many cities followed suit with the COVID-19 pandemic spreading across the country.
The Greensboro native is a member of the Brooklyn Nets, and the team was fresh off a win over the Los Angeles Lakers. The Nets were on a three-game winning streak when the season came to a halt and moved into the seventh seed of the Eastern Conference.
Pinson sat in his New York home without much direction and couldn't play the sport he loves.
"I didn't touch a basketball for a whole month, and that was so weird. I remember the first time I stepped on the court and it felt so weird," Pinson says.
The member of the 2017 UNC national championship team says the Nets organization sent the players workouts for them to do at home, and he worked up a sweat by riding his stationary bike while in New York.
The former High Point Wesleyan star decided to come home to Greensboro after a month and he was glad he did.
"I keep telling myself that I wouldn't be in town if this whole thing didn't happen, so it's been cool to just hang out with the family," Pinson says.
His senior year at UNC, Pinson made history by becoming the first Tar Heel to average 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists per game. The versatile guard went undrafted in the 2018 NBA draft but was signed by the Brooklyn Nets and played with the organization's G League affiliate, averaging 19.5 points in 43 games with the Long Island Nets.
Since he returned home, Pinson has taken advantage of the time with family while encouraging his sister during her graduation from high school.
"Being with my sister through this whole process knowing that she couldn't have her graduation and stuff, it's tough and just supporting her through this whole journey that she is going through," Pinson says.
The former UNC star found a private gym while at home and resumed workouts three to four times a week, preparing for a possibility of the regular season resuming.
On Wednesday, the NBA announced plans to resume the season in July, and Pinson is excited to get back on the floor, but he wants the league to take proper precautions.
"I think the biggest thing is that we're safe. I think that's the most important thing out of all this," Pinson says.
The proposed plan is for 22 teams to play eight regular-season games in Orlando with the Nets and Pinson being one of those teams playing out the regular season before playoffs begin.
The plan will be voted on by the NBA Board of Governors on Thursday.