Beau Beech is still shooting 3-pointers. But instead of a scoring for the Hamburg Towers of the German Basketball Bundesliga League, the former Ponte Vedra High standout and the second-leading all-time scorer at the University of North Florida, can only get his shots at his parents’ house. The worldwide shutdown of all professional sports leagues for the COVID-19 pandemic not only forced an unexpected vacation for the 6-foot-7 small forward, it created a lot of questions about his young career.
What have you been doing since your league shut down?
I’m lucky to still be working out every day. I have a basketball court in the front yard. That’s nice. I’m putting some shots up. I’ve got some body weights. I grabbed a couple weights from the high school. Thanks to my dad for that. I’m just hanging out. My sister just bought a house with her fiancé, so we’re doing some remodeling on the house during the week. That’s the name of the game right now.
How did people in Germany handle the quick and explosive nature of the coronavirus?
I never expected this to happen. Our team didn’t expect this to happen. Our owner, our [general manager], our coach, nobody. Nobody saw this coming. And it happened in a blink of the eye, too. That probably was the most-surprising part of it all was how quickly it happened. Basically, it went from a normal day to the next day everything was shut down.
How did you team handle COVID-19?
I stayed in Hamburg for two weeks as part of our quarantine once they told us our league was shut down with the expectation we were going to play after two weeks. I was hopeful that was going to happen. That was March 10 or 11 they told us, something like that. We were hopeful by April 1 we’d be playing again. No big deal. As things went on, it got bleaker and bleaker. I don’t have any confidence the season will pick back up for us because there’s so many little things outside basketball that have to be figured out. Across the world, the NBA, the NFL, Major League Baseball, everywhere. There are so many minor details. This guy’s contract, that guy’s contract. Logistically, how do we get to places? What are we doing with fans? There are so many things out side of the game. There’s so much more to the sport than just basketball.
How has this affected you personally and professionally?
Sports is my life. You realize just how little sports means when something like this is going on. Your town, your city, your state, your country, your world, it’s better to be safe. But I want to play again. I’d play tomorrow. But we have to be smart. But for now, sit out, stay safe, stay away.
Are you concerned these postponements and uncertainty will keep you from achieving your goals in basketball?
It’s unfortunate in my career that this happened at this time. I thought I was playing a pretty good season. I was looking at hopefully getting back to the whole NBA off-season league, doing some workouts at camps, trying to get on a summer league roster to see where that takes me. I wanted to try to get back to my rookie year when I went to training camp with Brooklyn. That was kind of the goal this summer. All of that’s put on hold. Now I can’t even predict if they’ll even have one [summer league]. Is it going to be worth it to put in the time? There will be a time where you have to go make money. You can’t wait, wait, wait. I want to play. I don’t want to sit out.
Are you still shooting 3 pointers in your front yard?
That’s what I do. That’s my calling card. That’s why I get paid. Know your game.
How does he German league compare to the NBA?
It’s more like the college game if you’re comparing professional league to professional league. Defensively, it’s very physical. It’s almost like watching late ‘90s NBA basketball. Guys are athletics. Guys play a modern style. The game is a little bit fast. Shooting a lot of 3s. Skilled players. But they’re not dumping it in the post and letting this guy take all the shots. Defensively, it’s brutal out there. It’s very physical. Once you’re out there, you really see the difference.