The University of New Mexico is sending its men's basketball program to the South Plains. It's a way to let the athletes practice and compete, while avoiding New Mexico's COVID-19 restrictions.
Using its bubble system, the Lobos will stay in Lubbock for a few days, while commuting to Levelland. The team will practice in facilities at South Plains College, observing strict protocols, including masking, distancing and a testing schedule. They will use PCR tests three times a week.
After their stay in Lubbock, the team will move to Levelland to continue practicing, before moving to a different city.
"Ultimately, we really found this to be a good opportunity for us to be able to go there and do what's necessary," said Eddie Nuñez, director of athletics at UNM. "For us to be able to do it under a safe way. Still be able to continue our COVID-safe practices, as well."
He says many restaurants and hotels have been very gracious and eager to help the program. Nuñez says it shows their confidence in the Lobos' ability to play basketball while keeping the program and their communities safe.
The athletics director at South Plains College told us he is happy to accommodate the team, since its season is over for both men's and women's programs.
New Mexico's women's team is headed to West Texas A&M in Canyon.