July 27, 2020
Lauren Cox confirms she tested positive for COVID-19
The Indiana Fever rookie, in Florida since last week, is "feeling good" and excited to join the team
Welcome to The Next: A basketball newsroom brought to you by The IX. 24/7/365 women’s basketball coverage, written, edited and photographed by our young, diverse staff, dedicated to breaking news, analysis, historical deep dives and projections about the game we love.
Subscribe to make sure this vital work, creating a pipeline of young, diverse media professionals to write, edit and photograph the great game, continues and grows. Subscriptions include some exclusive content, but the reason for subscriptions is a simple one: making sure our writers and editors creating 24/7/365 women’s basketball coverage get paid to do it.
Photo credit: NBA Media Central
In an appearance on the Today Show on Monday morning, Indiana Fever rookie Lauren Cox confirmed that her positive coronavirus test was responsible for her delay in joining the team.
Cox arrived in Bradenton, Fla. on Thursday evening, but the exact date that she will return to the team is unknown. Upon arriving in the “wubble,” players must self-isolate for four days.
“I’m feeling good,” Cox said on the show. “I’m getting ready to get back on the court and I’m really excited to join my team.”
Cox has Type 1 diabetes, a condition that may put someone at an increased risk for becoming severely ill due to COVID-19. But with this in mind, she felt traveling to Florida for her rookie season was a risk worth taking.
“I’m a little worried about it, but at the same time, I want to play again,” Cox said. “I haven’t played a basketball game since late February, early March, so I’m just ready to get back out on the court again.”
Both Cox and Erica Wheeler, the other Fever player to test positive for coronavirus, were reportedly asymptomatic. Still, players must test negative twice in succession, 24 hours apart, before they are allowed to travel to Florida. Wheeler has not yet made the trip.
All 12 players, including Cox and Wheeler, reported to Indianapolis in June for practices. No other Fever players tested positive, though the team still only played nine players in their opener due to another rookie, Kathleen Doyle, suffering an ankle injury in practice last week.
Having two positive tests meant Indiana’s travel was delayed by five days compared to the other 11 WNBA teams. That delay meant the Fever were unable to scrimmage another team before their opening game Saturday, a 101-76 loss to the Washington Mystics, a situation the Fever’s third rookie Julie Allemand acknowledged postgame was “really hard.”
Cox said she was cheering for the Fever as she watched the game from her hotel room at IMG Academy. Despite the lack of fans and the overall “interesting” environment, she said she’s excited to start cheering from the sidelines instead.
“We’re definitely going to have to create our own energy out there, but honestly I’m just glad that we’re even having a season and getting to play again,” Cox said.