November 12, 2020
Amanda Zahui B. tests positive for COVID-19
The New York Liberty and Swedish National Team center will miss the EuroBasket Women Qualifying tournament
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New York Liberty center Amanda Zahui B. has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not participate in the Swedish national team’s European Championship qualifying game against Israel on Saturday.
The news broke first in a press release on Wednesday night from the Swedish Basketball Association. “It is difficult to get this message, I had been looking forward to meeting the team and taking us one step closer to the European Championships,” Zahui B. said in the press release translated from Swedish.
On Instagram a day later, the Swedish center addressed her positive test further, writing a lengthy post that she screenshotted and tweeted out earlier on Thursday.
“This is tough,” she wrote. “I was truly looking forward on joining my teammates and punch the ticket to the Europeans 2021. But for whatever reason, there is another plan laid out for me.”
Zahui B. noted that while she has tested positive for the coronavirus, she “feels fine” and likely is asymptomatic. “I also believe that I will recover from this bump in the road just like a million of other humans around the world.”
The Swedish national team is currently in the EuroBasket Women qualifying bubble in Crete. While Zahui B. will watch her team from afar, she has no doubt that they will put their best feet forward and compete on Saturday.
“I get to cheer from home together with all Swedish fans,” she said in the press release. “I know that the girls will make us proud and bring the heat.”
Team Sweden will be shorthanded for Saturday as Regan Magarity and Kalis Loyd won’t be available. The national team’s head coach Marco Crespi is focused on who will be playing against Israel rather than who won’t.
“We have to play the best match we can with the twelve players we have,” Crespi said in the press release translated from Swedish. “But it starts with the defense. Everyone wants to play at a high pace, but if you do not play defense, there will be no chances to run.”
Zahui B. received some love from the National Swedish Basketball Teams’ Twitter account. “We miss you- but you are always with us,” the account wrote.
The six-year New York Liberty young vet received more words of encouragement from teammates, former coaches, and peers in the WNBA on Instagram. “Damn I thought you was gonna be in the clear,” New York Liberty center Kiah Stokes wrote underneath the post.
Former Liberty guard Tiffany Bias, Mystics guard Natasha Cloud, Wings forward Izzy Harrison, Sky forward Stephanie Mavunga, and Dream players Monique Billings and Kalani Brown all commented on Zahui B.’s Instagram post announcing her positive test.
Also, Naismith Hall of Famer and current New Orleans Pelicans player development coach Teresa Weatherspoon wished Zahui B. a “get well” message. The Liberty have yet to release an official statement.
Written by Jackie Powell
Jackie Powell covers the New York Liberty and runs social media and engagement strategy for The Next. She also has covered women's basketball for Bleacher Report and her work has appeared in Sports Illustrated and SLAM. She also self identifies as a Lady Gaga stan, is a connoisseur of pop music and is a mental health advocate.