Asia Durr’s Battle With COVID-19 Could Jeopardize Her WNBA Career

The coronavirus pandemic has ravaged the United States, killing over 400,000 Americans and counting. Athletes were not immune to the virus, with many notable athletes contracting COVID-19. The effects it can have on individuals, even after they are treated, is still being analyzed. WNBA player Asia Durr has battled with COVID since her positive test in June.

The New York Liberty guard is still dealing with some of the after-effects of COVID-19. The struggle has taken a toll on her physically, mentally, and emotionally. She is still not 100% healthy from the virus and is continuing to work on her health. There’s no timetable for her to return, and her WNBA career might be in jeopardy.

Asia Durr is a rising WNBA star

The Liberty has a rising star in Asia Durr. She is a guard out of Louisville, being selected with the No. 2 overall pick. During her senior season at Louisville, she scored 2,485 points, the second-most in school history. She won the Dawn Staley Award for best guard and the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award for the best shooting guard. 

Durr is a talented scorer who can get to her spots with ease, thanks to her handles. She is half of the young, talented backcourt for the Liberty. Sabrina Ionescu is the other guard, who is also a sensational talent. The two haven’t played together, but it will be an electrifying experience when they do touch the floor.

A hip injury during her rookie year caused Durr to miss nearly half the season. She averaged 9.7 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game in 18 games her first year. The Liberty struggled during her first season, which is why the team was able to draft Ionescu. Nevertheless, Durr’s skill set and pairing with Ionescu puts her in a position to be a force in the WNBA.

Asia Durr is a young player with her whole career in front of her. Unfortunately, she contracted the coronavirus over the summer, and it still is affecting her today. She talked with Mary Carillo of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel about her battle with the coronavirus and its effects over five months in.

Asia Durr’s long battle with COVID-19 

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In June of 2020, Durr tested positive for the coronavirus. Her recovery was difficult then, detailing the adversity she faced in a tweet. Citing her positive result, Durr opted-out of the 2020 WNBA season, being labeled high risk by the league. Things have improved since then, but the second-year guard still battles with the after-effects of COVID-19.

She is what people consider a COVID-19 long hauler. Even though she doesn’t have the virus (or the worst symptoms) anymore, she is still dealing with some debilitating symptoms. Durr could feel great or be bedridden; it just depends on the day. 

“There’s days where I feel great, like I could go out and go to the store or I could clean up,” Durr said per CBS Sports. “And then there’s days where I’m like, ‘I just have to stay in the bed,’ and you just feel like you got hit by a bus.”

During her fight with COVID, Durr has lost 32 pounds. That is an insane amount of weight loss, especially for an athlete. The weight loss isn’t even the worst part of her battle.

“Lung pain that was so severe it felt like somebody took a long knife and was just stabbing you in your lungs each second. I woke up 2 o’clock in the morning vomiting, going back and forth to the bathroom. I couldn’t keep anything down,” said Durr per Yahoo! Sports.

It has been a trying battle for Asia Durr, but she continues to persevere. She said her life has “completely changed” because of COVID, and it could put her WNBA career in jeopardy.

COVID-19 has put Asia Durr’s basketball career in jeopardy 

Dealing with the coronavirus is a difficult challenge for everyone, athletes included. For athletes, they can’t work out when they have the virus, as it could affect their cardiovascular health. Durr’s battle with COVID is going on month seven, and she hasn’t played basketball since her positive test.

“I haven’t been able to [pick up a ball]. I can’t even shoot a free throw,” said Durr.

Not being able to play must be tough for a player like Durr. She loves the game and could use the time playing to get more acclimated to the speed of the WNBA. Given her battle with the coronavirus, Durr has had the possibility of never playing basketball again cross her mind.

“I haven’t been able to [practice basketball],” Durr said. “It’s really challenging for me. But I’ve talked to doctors, and they’ve told me I’m not cleared yet. I’m not cleared to be able to do anything physically, which could cause flare-ups … And that’s what’s really hard for me because in life, whenever something was hard, I would go and play. I can’t even do that now,” said Durr.

Asia Durr is continuing to improve during her battle with the coronavirus, but her basketball future is still unclear. She tweeted that her goal is to be on the floor for the 2021 WNBA season. If she continues to fight and power through the adversity, there is no reason why she isn’t suiting up for the New York Liberty on opening night.