A bit of normalcy returned to the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff athletics Wednesday as the men’s basketball program opened fall practice.

With everyone globally dealing with effects of Covid-19 since March, UAPB head coach George Ivory and his players hit the hardwood on the opening day of practice in the friendly confines of the H.O. Clemmons Arena.

“It feels great to be back in the gym and see the guys get up and down the floor,” said Ivory, now the dean of SWAC coaches in his 13th season as UAPB head coach. “I thought they did a good job for the first day with execution of drills and being on the floor. We took our time with things and worked on fundamentals on day one.”

Ivory has tremendous continuity entering the fall, returning four starters and 10 players from last year’s team.

“Anytime you have that type of experience returning, it makes practice easier because our seniors demand so much from the team,” Ivory said. “I’m holding the seniors accountable, and they are going to hold their teammates accountable.”