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The KUNM news team's coverage of the 2020 legislative session and its impacts

YNMG & COVID: Sports Sports Sports

Courtesy of Chad Cooper
Santiago Cooper, high school sophomore with the Sandia Prep Sundevils

Episode 50 is all about athletes and sports, and the pandemic's impacts on the players, the communities, the economy—and our spirits. What are games like when the stands are empty? How do student athletes support each other as they navigate missed opportunities for big seasons, and maybe scholarships? How do physical activity and teamwork help keep folks connected and on the right track? And what do you do when some of that's gone for a minute? 

Starting Host Khalil Ekulona (who's 50 for 50 so far this season) starts by talking with EPSN's John Brickley, anchor and play-by-play commentator across college sports and MLB coverage. Brickley has some words for those student athletes coping with the loss of a season. 

We hear from Santiago Cooper, a sophomore from the Sandia Prep Sundevils in Albuquerque, about how the pandemic wrecked a season the team's been working into for years, and how the student athletes are checking in with each other. 

Rob Thelusma of Affirmative Athletics tells us about the program he founded in L.A. working with young people leaving juvenile detention, and how team sports help focus and channel energy, while also developing a sense of community. 

Ed Nuñez is a play-by-play announcer for ProView Networks covering baseball, basketball, football, softball, boxing and rugby. He brings the conversation to Little League baseball and softball, and all the kids who play their hearts out. 

We hear from Corey Moore, the personal manager for Wesley Matthews, a guard for the Milwaukee Bucks of the NBA. He talks about work ethic and making the right choices, even when times are tough.

And a news update: New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a news conference this afternoon that she’s trying to figure out how to ease some of the shutdown restrictions, though the order is in place through May 15. She said people violating the stay-at-home order or the shutdown orders could blow that for everyone.

KRQE reports about 50 people gathered on Albuquerque’s Civic Plaza this afternoon to protest the shutdown. 

There were 153 more confirmed cases of the virus in New Mexico today for a total of 2,521, according to state officials. And six men died from the virus today. The death toll stands at 84. More than 600 people in the state have recovered.


Workforce Solutions Secretary Bill McCamley said he added 200 people to his department to field thousands of applications for unemployment that are still pending.

We're keeping a complete list of the resources and volunteer opportunities that we find for each episode at bit.ly/YNMGhub. And here's what we got from today.


How are things going for you? We want to know. Share your quarantine stories by calling: (505) 218-7084 and leaving us a message. We could roll them into a future episode.


Your New Mexico Government is a collaboration between KUNM, New Mexico PBS, and the Santa Fe Reporter. Funding for our coverage is provided, in part, by the Thornburg Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the New Mexico Local News Fund.

Marisa Demarco began a career in radio at KUNM News in late 2013 and covered public health for much of her time at the station. During the pandemic, she is also the executive producer for Your NM Government and No More Normal, shows focused on the varied impacts of COVID-19 and community response, as well as racial and social justice. She joined Source New Mexico as editor-in-chief in 2021.
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