Coach Sarah Veale issued out a mantra to "stay apart but stick together" in a vow of the Launceston Tornadoes to build on from a disjointed preseason ahead of 2021.
The spread of coronavirus has ended the club's season before it even began after the NBL1 wiped out all games.
The Tornadoes are the first sporting team in Launceston after Tuesday to have their season cancelled instead of postponed as early as March.
"The final annoucement was disappointing, but this COVID-19 situation is bigger than basketball," Veale said.
"We are putting it into perspective, however, right now we are very respectful of the impact on our playing group.
"I guess elite athletes are very goal-orientated and we are very driven that way, so we have had to reset and refocus on a new start date.
"Now we are making this into a very long preseason. We have given the girls this week off to focus on to watch their health and families."
Barely a week earlier, the NBL1 season was suspended from April 18 until May 15.
The initial annoucement from the NBL1 to delay the start, but also suspend team sessions happened in the midst of Veale running the players through their paces.
Tornadoes chairman Neil Grose came out of a board meeting to immediately ring Veale, who told all the squad.
"That was a big shock first, just telling the girls half way through our training session that we couldn't continue to train. So it was all pretty confronting and everyone was in a lot of shock," Veale said.
"I don't know how to really explain it, but the girls almost bonded more over adversity in that moment than I had ever seen them do so far."
The coach quickly had to develop individual sessions in isolation to counteract the virus amid social distancing.
That is set to continue with preparations for next season.
"We put something to our group the other day which was stay apart but stick together, which is now the new normal," Veale said.
The club is keen to secure all players 12 months ahead.
Star signings Keely Froling and Megan McKay have indicated to Veale they are keen to "revisit all this" after each complete their WNBL and European commitments.
ELSEWHERE IN SPORT
Veale did not want to let the hard work slip after carefully recruiting players, planning out preseason training, and after her time and effort, all of sudden the season is done and the Tornadoes are left in limbo for 12 months.
"All the players indicated they are in still in," she said.
"They're really committed to the Torns' family as we call it and the club.
"This is what they love; this is what they know."
Veale had taken the reins from Derrick Washington, and for the first time since 2011 when Rebecca Dick led the club, a former Tornadoes local was in charge coaching.
A regular observer of club games before the appointment, Veale said it will be "bizarre" not to now have that Launceston spirit on court.
"I was so happy how well we bonded, where we're in terms of our systems and we have to keep carrying that forward into 2021," she said.
Before a long period inside Basketball Tasmania circles, dedicated to taking away state junior teams, the club's inaugural 1994 best and fairest winner was putting the team first before her own heartbreak and ambitions of being forced to wait another year to coach the Torns.
"I'm there for the players and I'm trying to support them through it, as our players are quite young," Veale said.
"I was pretty disappointed.
"Don't get me wrong: like I was really gutted when I first found out we couldn't even keep on training. The writing has been on the wall really from that point in time.
"There is so much that is more important than how I feel right now about this."
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