Seattle Storm player recounts COVID-19’s journey through France and Australia

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SEATTLE – Sami Whitcomb, former Seattle Storm Guard and former Washington Husky, is back with his family in Perth, Australia, after being stranded in France for a month due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Like most women playing professional basketball, Sami divides her time between playing in the United States and abroad. This year, COVID-19 has interrupted its European season. Sami has played the last two years for BLMA in Montpellier, France, competing in France and in Euroleague.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Europe, the French League was suspended, forcing Sami to isolate himself for about a month in France, alone. It was a very different experience from what we saw in the United States.

“The French quarantine, also during my stay there, every day and every week became more and more extreme and the rules and directives became more and more strict, then to the point where you could only go out for them grocery stores and exercise, and even if you were limited, you could go outside, but only for an hour. The cops were there all the time, watching that, stopping at the lights to see where you are going and why. You always had to have your ID card and that note in French that said where you were going, why you were going, what time you left, all of these things, “said Sami.

The star of Storm is a double citizen who lives in Australia and America. When she is not playing, Sami lives in Perth with his wife, Kate. When the French League finally decided to cancel the rest of its season, Sami took the next flight out of Paris.

Now, back in Perth, Sami has spent the past two weeks in government-mandated quarantine at a hotel. If she continues to stay healthy, Sami should finally be able to go home this week.

The pandemic has affected Sami on a deep level.

“It’s a human thing right now, for sure. I think being American, Australian but living in Europe and seeing that side too has really proven that to me. It’s not selective, anyone can have that and all over the world, people are affected by it and I think you never want anyone to suffer, but I think knowing that we all endure together, you find some comfort there and I hope it is easier for people to make these sacrifices for each other because we are a community and not just Americans, Australians or Europeans as we are a community of humans and I hope this gives everyone a little perspective on frailty life, that’s how close we are and all connected, ”says Sami.

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