Leitao Keeps Dialogue With Team In Tough Times

"This is a really critical time that we're facing," Dave Leitao says.

Mully & Haugh Show
June 01, 2020 - 10:37 am

(670 The Score) During the time away from the court during this coronavirus pandemic, the DePaul men's basketball team has held its meetings through Zoom. The most recent one struck a much different tone than usual.

Instead of focusing on basketball, DePaul coach Dave Leitao and his team discussed the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on Memorial Day, the difficult subjects of racial inequality and police brutality and how our society can evolve.

Leitao said a sense of "confusion" loomed through the meeting as his team asked a question. Why does this keep happening? The conversations were tough but necessary.

"Particularly for young people, to try to come to grips with their hurt, their pain, their anger, and most importantly, what to do about it," Leitao said on the Mully & Haugh Show on Monday. "For me, it was an opportunity to have a teachable moment with them and continue to have one, quite honestly.

"This is a really critical time that we're facing, and people are wondering what to do and how to look at a society that's been unjust -- not just with police brutality, but just a very unbalanced society with people of color. 

"We're going to continue to talk about it over and over again."

The conversations are something Leitao hopes will continue through more Zoom calls. They come at a time during which protests and riots are breaking out through streets of American cities, including Chicago, and our world deals with the pandemic.

Leitao is balancing the teaching to his team with a personal tragedy of his own. His mother passed away from COVID-19. 

"It's something that unfortunately we're dealing with," Leitao said. "We just have to make sure that we stay safe more than anything else and follow the guidelines of our experts, our doctors, to stay with what we need to do to try to eradicate this as quickly as possible."