USM basketballers turn barn into weight room amid pandemic

USM basketballers turn barn into weight room amid pandemic

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - When the Coronavirus hit the United States in March, gyms and campuses closed.

Many athletes were left to come up with their own means of staying in shape and a couple of Golden Eagles used their creativity.

USM basketball’s Tyler Stevenson and Denijay Harris turned a Columbus barn into one of the finest fitness centers in Lowndes County. Well, maybe not, but the shack served well enough for the pair to build some muscle during the pandemic.

The two Golden Eagles actually played against one another in high school quite a bit – Harris graduated from Columbus High and Stevenson from rival New Hope.

“We already had that bond with each other because we used to work out at the YMCA together when we were little,” Harris said. “We played together back when we were little too. Being able to work out with him during this quarantine, it was just good for me because I pushed him. He pushed me, we just got better together.”

Stevenson came to Hattiesburg as a freshman weighing 175 pounds. After putting on 20 pounds this summer, he enters his junior season at 222, standing 6-foot-8.

“Whenever I’m getting hit, drawing contact, it can help me finish around the basket,” Stevenson said. “Just playing down low at the four position or five position, on defense going against those bigger guys in Conference USA.”

Harris used his redshirt freshman season to build strength and feels in great shape as Southern Miss begins practice on Monday.

The forward stands at 6-foot-7, 207 pounds.

“Before we left for school they had us in good shape so we didn’t want to lose that,” Harris said. “We had to make a way out of something.”

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