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COVID bug bites Team USA as Beal enters safety protocols

Updated: Jul 17, 2021

It was impossible to think that COVID-19 wouldn’t make it’s way into affecting this year’s Olympics in some shape, form or fashion.

After delaying the world games for an entire year, a member of the Team USA men’s national team has come down with the virus.

“As far as Bradley’s concerned, I’m dying for him -- we all are,” head coach Gregg Popovich said. “Since he was a little kid this has been a dream of his and he was playing great, he was having fun. He was a big part of us coming together chemistry-wise as a family.”

Beal scored 17 points in 30 minutes in the team’s only exhibition win over Argentina, Tuesday, July 13 from the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas.

After nine years in the NBA, he was getting his first chance to be a member of the men’s senior national team.

“It’s been a blessing for one,” he said. “I’ve always been a part of USA Basketball when I was 15, 16, 17 years old. Now to be on the national team, it’s a dream come true.”

The three-year all-star was coming off a career-year where he averaged 31.3 points per game on 49% percent shooting from the floor.

Beal was the lone representative on Team USA from the Washington Wizards.

“We can say we got a lot of practice for sure,” Popovich said. “Our goal overall is we’re trying to get everybody safely to Tokyo. And at the same time, prepare a basketball team to be successful.”

As far as replacements, Team USA is looking for players that are in the best shape considering the tightened schedule ahead of leaving for the Olympics.

Forward Jerami Grant also entered health and safety protocol but has not tested positive for the virus.

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