A few weeks ago I had a chance to talk to Oregon State alum Sydney Wiese for the Talkin’ Beavers podcast.
At that time she had just returned home from Spain where she had been playing pro basketball. The coronavirus crisis ended her season a little early and she had quite the odyssey getting back to her hometown of Phoenix. The flight home....Barcelona, Mexico City, Los Angeles and then Phoenix. She arrived back home on March 13th and even before she got back during the trip she said she wasn't herself.
Wiese made a return appearance on this week’s Talkin’ Beavers Podcast.
It all happened really fast. I got home on March 13th, Friday the 13th. Even the night before I lost my sense of smell and taste. It wasn't a symptom of the virus at the time. I knew I was going to be in self-quarantine at home just to be safe and traveling from Europe. — Sydney Wiese
But after getting home to Phoenix she knew something was wrong:
I knew that my body was off, I know my body and it didn't feel right. I wasn’t showing any major symptoms of the virus. Then Ruth (Ruth Hamblin who is also part of the podcast) sent me an article that said loss of smell and taste were symptoms of the virus. — Sydney Wiese
She was tested and it came back positive. She got a ton of national attention because she was the first WNBA player who tested positive. So she remains in quarantine but feels good!
I don't feel like a million bucks but a thousand bucks. Feeling much better but I will remain in quarantine and keep an eye on my parents (Troy and Patti) to make sure they are okay. — Sydney Wiese
So Syd will remain in her childhood bedroom, in the backyard and their driveway where there is a basket she has been shooting on since she was old enough to play hoops.
Wiese, like all professional athletes, will now wait to see what happens next in their world. She is slated to begin a fourth year in the WNBA but will the season happen? She will be aided by the fact her former Beaver teammate Marie Gulich was traded from Atlanta to Los Angeles. Sydney is thrilled to have an Oregon State reunion in Hollywood!!
Marie told me and to be honest it’s too good to be true and we didn't want to get too excited because it is a business and you never know. Once free-agency passed we were able to celebrate a little bit. — Sydney Wiese
Sydney is the all-time three pointer shooter in Oregon State history, hitting 373 during her four seasons with Oregon State. This game took place during the later stage of her senior season:
Sydney's professional career took quite a turn for the better after two years of basically riding the bench in Los Angeles. Derek Fisher took over as the head coach and Sydney had a chance to show her talent. She started sixteen of the teams 32 games and showed leadership on the floor and as usual was a great cheerleader when not on the court. I had a chance to cover the LA Sparks vs. Seattle Storm game last summer in Everett, Washington and Syd (in the purple uniform) knocks down a nice three-ball.
One thing that Sydney loves is any connection to Oregon State. Mikayla Pivec's little sister Malia (who runs cross country at Boise State) attended that same game in Everett which is right next to the Pivec's hometown of Lynwood, Washington and after she had time to pose for a few pics!
Sydney will always be a Beav and during the podcast with Ruth Hamblin and Marie Gulich, I asked her how Gill Coliseum rates after playing basketball in arenas all over the planet. Sydney has played pro ball in Australia, Israel and Spain during her off-season away from the WNBA.
Ron, its not even a question. I mean even going back to college there was no arena like our home court at Gill. To be there for the progress throughout the years. I remember the team making a big basket you were heading back on defense and you couldn't ever hear each other. You could really feel the energy out there. In a tight game and you were tired you could feel the crowd and they helped us win many of those games! — Sydney Wiese
Sydney will now wait and continue to work on her health and hoop game shooting in the driveway. Will there be a WNBA season? Like all of us she is waiting and wondering.
Check out the full podcast with Syd, Ruth and Marie. It was a treat to get to chat with three Beaver legends thanks to NBC Sports Northwest and ZOOM!!