Now, athletes who were planning to participate have had their lives put on pause, just like the majority of the world — awaiting the next steps to take during this time.
South Jersey native and USWNT forward Carli Lloyd is just one of many whose training has been halted due to the news. NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark was able to catch up with Lloyd following the announcement.
“Life is on pause with literally everything around the world,” said Lloyd. “I think the olympics was sort of the elephant in the room for the last several weeks.”
It will ultimately become quite an adjustment — to see how pushing this event back will affect the Olympians that were planning to head to Tokyo, Japan in the summer.
“I think all of the athletes around the world have been wondering what’s going to happen,” said Lloyd. “All of their training has been halted some way shape or form and it’s unfortunate.
“I think a worst case scenario, they would have just cancelled it altogether. So, I’m happy for the postponement. I know it probably is going to affect so many different athletes in so many different ways, but I’m looking forward to it.”
This is the first time in a while where Lloyd’s life has been put on pause. While she will still be training to some degree with her home gym and backyard space, she is looking forward to spending more time with her husband.
Lloyd further discusses the impact of the postponement of the Olympics and what her plans could possibly include for the summer in the video above. And of course, she makes sure to state her excitement for this upcoming Eagles season.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are officially postponed for a year amid concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. The announcement was made by the International Olympic Committee and Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe.
The IOC and the Prime Minister said in the statement that the Tokyo games must be postponed to "safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community".
The statement said the Tokyo games will be rescheduled "no later than summer 2021", and the event will retain the Tokyo 2020 name.
This is the first time in history that the start of an Olympics will be delayed to another year.
The IOC and Abe further explained the decision in the joint statement:
The unprecedented and unpredictable spread of the outbreak has seen the situation in the rest of the world deteriorating. Yesterday, the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that the COVID-19 pandemic is 'accelerating'. There are more than 375,000 cases now recorded worldwide and in nearly every country, and their number is growing by the hour.
In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.
Olympic leaders decided the Olympic flame will remain in Japan, with the idea of the Games standing "as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times".
The Games were scheduled to begin July 24 with the Opening Ceremony, and last until August 9 with the Closing Ceremony.
Two Philadelphia-area point guards and St. Joe’s grads sat next to each other Tuesday night in Philadelphia, smiling and cracking jokes at an event co-hosted by USA Basketball and Red Bull to promote 3x3 basketball.
Jameer Nelson, a 14-year NBA veteran, and Natasha Cloud, a WNBA champion this past season with the Washington Mystics, also share an interest in coaching.
Nelson interviewed for the St. Joe’s job last year, which ultimately went to Billy Lange.
“It is what it is,” he said. “I’m not bitter about the situation, it is what it is. I wish them nothing but luck. That was just the ideal situation for me. I live 15 minutes from the university, I know Philly basketball, know enough people to be able to recruit, had other things in place.
"That would have been something that would have kind have been a home run, but it didn’t happen.”
He now works as an in-studio college basketball analyst for CBS Sports Network.
It’s been fun,” Nelson said. “It’s been challenging because I’ve gotta learn, I’ve gotta prep, I’ve gotta do homework. It’s keeping me occupied. More importantly, I’m a dad and a husband. Make up for that lost time, for those 14 years where everything was around me. They sacrificed for me, now I’m sacrificing for them.
Nelson’s son, Jameer Nelson Jr., has averaged 10.4 points and 4.4 rebounds as a freshman guard at George Washington, and Nelson said he’s “beyond ecstatic for him as an individual and a player.”
Outside of more time with his family, it sounds like other aspirations down the line make broadcasting appealing to Nelson.
“It keeps me around the game, and it challenges me,” he said. “When I do decide to coach or become a GM or whatever in the front office, I won’t be left behind. I’m still involved.”
Two of his former St. Joe’s teammates, Dwayne Jones and John Bryant, are on the Sixers’ coaching staff, with Jones serving as a player development coach and Bryant an assistant coach. Nelson said he tries to keep in touch with the two “as much as possible,” but that it’s difficult during the NBA season.
Meanwhile, the 28-year-old Cloud has a clear idea of what she wants to do once her playing career is over.
I would love to go back to St. Joe’s and be a coach, and take over the program,” she said. “I really think that I can have an impact. I don’t necessarily think that college basketball always does things the right way, especially with vulnerable 18- to 23-year-old men and women. So, I want to do things the right way, I want to share my love and passion for the game and help build and mould those young athletes.
A Broomall, Pennsylvania, native, Cloud played at Cardinal O’Hara High School and spent the final three seasons of her college career at St. Joe’s after transferring from Maryland. Though a key member of the Mystics’ championship-winning team who backed up a victory guarantee for Game 5 of the WNBA Finals with an 18-point, five-rebound performance, she had to travel to China to play with the Zhejiang Golden Bulls for financial reasons.
“It was really difficult, just from a frustration point — you work so hard,” she said. “This has been my dream, to win a WNBA championship, and I get to that point and a week later, I have to go fly to China. There’s no celebrating, there’s no parade, there’s no embracing anything with D.C. — it’s just kind of, you’re on to the next thing.
“We have a new CBA now, but at that point it’s like, our means of being financially stable, we get from being overseas. Having to go play and you’re playing in a league that just isn’t the same as the WNBA — it’s not a bad league, but it’s just not the caliber that the WNBA is at — it was definitely tough to get through.”
“It’s not just a Southeast D.C. problem, it’s not just a D.C. problem, it’s a country-wide problem,” she said. “Just using my platform, knowing I can be a voice for the voiceless and taking on that responsibility. The youth is super important to not only to me, but [for] the development of us as a country, as a society. I think they’re the change that needs to happen, so we need to protect them at all costs.”
‘The Dennis Rodman of 3x3’
Cloud and Nelson weren’t the only athletes at the event. Sitting a couple chairs down on the panel, next to Sixers in-arena host Christian Crosby, was Robbie Hummel. A former standout at Purdue and NBA player, Hummel was the MVP of the FIBA 3x3 World Cup in 2019.
He was set to lead the United States team later this month in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Bengaluru, India — yes, 3x3 is now an Olympic sport — but the tournament has been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Hummel described the nuances, strategies and development of the fast-paced game, explaining the 12-second shot clock, uneven and lax refereeing, in his estimation — with a laugh, he called himself the “Dennis Rodman of 3x3” because of his profane rants against officials — and emphasis on long-distance shooting. Makes beyond the arc count as two points, with makes inside the arc worth one.
“Our strategy is in pick-and-roll, the big is back and the guard goes over the top,” Hummel said. “I start with that because our philosophy is if a team is making 21 pull-ups or 21 tough, contested layups, we’re going to make enough two-pointers — it’s an analytics things. This is like a [Rockets GM] Daryl Morey deal right here. We’ll make enough two-pointers to win regardless of what they’re doing.”
While 3x3 isn’t going to overtake 5-on-5 basketball, Hummel, Cloud and Nelson all think it can be part of the sport’s future.
But, though 3x3 is obviously a priority at the moment for the 31-year-old Hummel, Nelson joked that he wasn’t suited for it as a “stubby point guard from Chester.”
Like Cloud, he has other things on his plate.
“I’m never going to rule anything out,” he said. “I tell people all the time … Will I coach? I don’t know, but I think I would make a good coach. Will I be a GM? I don’t know. … It’s kind of one of those things where for the last 25 years I’ve done the same thing, so I’m trying broadcasting. Right now, I’m loving it.”
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