The Men’s Basketball Team Encourages People to Vote

Coach Lou and his men’s basketball team take action by challenging other Bay Area high schools to have their students register to vote.

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Kennedy Johnson, Copy Editor

Over the years, Coach Lou and the Bishop O’Dowd Men’s Varsity Basketball Team have gained much attraction and support from all around the Bay Area. With the many talented players that fill the roster, Bishop O’Dowd is one of the nation’s top high school men’s basketball teams. This past March, the Bishop O’Dowd Men’s Varsity basketball team was scheduled to play Sheldon and Sierra Canyon before COVID-19 hit, which forced them to cancel their season.

It has been several months since the pandemic began, and it is still interfering with school, sports, and other activities. Online school has become the norm for Bishop O’Dowd, and it is still unclear whether sports will proceed normally. Instead of sitting and waiting for change, the men’s team has decided to step up, and the community is starting to take notice.

Recently, @ODowdsMensBBall has been using its platform on Instagram to nominate and challenge other schools and their sports teams to also encourage their students to register to vote. So far, Henry Palmer ’21, Taj Phillips ’21, Matthew Desler ’21, and Cahal Connolly ’22 have all shared their experiences and expressed the importance of everyone exercising their right to vote.

In a recent interview O’Dowd Basketball Coach, Coach Lou, discussed his views on the upcoming election and how he played a role in initiating change in his backyard. Coach Lou described, 

O’Dowd Men’s Basketball Coach, Coach Lou

“We have partnered with myschoolvotes.whenweallvoteorg to try and get young people to register to vote. My goal is 1,000 schools and 100 students at each school. So I am asking my friends in education, sports, and entertainment to help spread the word to register to vote.”

When talking about the importance of registering and voting in this political climate, Coach Lou replied, 

“[Voting] is our main voice to show what we want and whom we want to represent us in the national and local elections.”

As the conversation continued, he talked about the effectiveness of his actions so far and the response.

He explained, “It is a slow process. But we are seeing interest increasing. Our team is making videos and posting on social media. The media is now calling and wanting to do articles on it. People around the country are seeing and hearing and asking questions about how they can get involved. My team is being more proactive and sitting in on Zoom calls. And you are emailing me about it. So people are taking notice!”

In a closing statement, Coach Lou advised,

“Everyone stay healthy and safe in this day and age of COVID-19. Please tell someone if you are feeling unhealthy or if you see a friend displaying questionable behavior. Now more than ever, it is imperative for us to monitor our mental health and the mental health of our loved ones.  Pre-register or register 10 people to vote. Accept the challenge. #myschoolvoteswhenweallvotevoterregistrationchallenge. The link for our page is myschoolvotes.whenweallvote/bishopodowdhs.”

Voting has, and will always be, a vital step in creating necessary change. Now more than ever, it is clear that voting can change everyone’s lives. Let this be the chance for everyone to use their voice and always vote like their life depends on it, because it does. Register to vote today!