By Sara Hodges

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — He was once an advocate for the Let Them Play movement, but Grant High head basketball coach Deonard Wilson is now having second thoughts.

He’s now urging coaches, parents and players to do the same. After contracting COVID himself, Wilson now knows first-hand the dangers of the virus.

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“People are dying and we’re talking about recalling because we can’t play high school sports or elementary sports? I say it hasn’t hit close enough to home,” Wilson said.

Coronavirus knocked right on Wilson’s front door and he was greeted by fatigue. He passed out at the post office and was rushed to UC Davis Medical Center.

“Not only did they test me positive for COVID but they took x-rays and said I had pneumonia,” he said.

That’s when Wilson learned he’d be spending the night at the hospital.

“I don’t think people believe them when they say they were out of rooms. They were definitely out of rooms. They weren’t out of beds, so they put me in this makeshift room,” Wilson said.

In the cold basement with a view of exposed pipes, no television and only unfinished walls surrounding him, Wilson’s mind began to wander.

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“You’re like ok it’s cold am I next to the morgue? Your mind goes there,” he said.

After two days, he was released to his wife. She spent the next three weeks nursing him back to health.

“I fell into a whole ‘nother kind of love with my wife,” Wilson said.

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At 52-years-old. Wilson considers himself lucky to be alive. But with four of his players living with their grandparents, he fears their fate could be different.

“It probably won’t hurt you, but you don’t want to get something and go home and kill your grandma. Anyone who thinks it’s a hyper version of the flu, they obviously haven’t had it or had anyone close enough with it,” he said.

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It’s been about three months since Deonard Wilson got COVID. He says he feels at about 90% right now.  He can’t wait to get back on the court and start coaching when it’s safe to do so.