Many non-American WNBA players have decided to stay in their home countries, possibly, if not likely because of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact in the United States.
The US has the most cases and deaths or coronavirus in the world. Sure, that’s partly because the US is the third largest country in the world based on population. But the response in America has been very fragmented at the federal level, leading some states, mostly in the south and the heartland to open earlier than states in the northeast where outbreaks first happened.
And if that weren’t enough, Florida, where the WNBA is holding its 2020 regular season. is experiencing a surge of cases. Not good.
Despite all of that, here’s good news for the Washington Mystics’ championship repeat hopes. Their do-it-all power forward and reigning Finals MVP Emma Meesseman is coming back this week!
According to Het Nieuwsblad (in Dutch), she will leave on Thursday for the United States. Her expected arrival this week was also confirmed by the Mystics organization.
In addition, Belgian guard Julie Allemand, a rookie for the Indiana Fever will leave tomorrow for the US, according to Het Nieuwsblad’s report.
The United States has banned all non-Americans who were in the European Union’s Schengen Area within 15 days of arriving to the country until further notice, with some limited exceptions. Initially, athletes weren’t exempt.
However, in late May, the Trump Administration granted such exemptions to the EU travel ban for professional athletes like Meesseman and Allemand as essential workers. Therefore, they shouldn’t have complications entering the country.
The 2020 WNBA season will be a bit peculiar, but I’m excited to see Meesseman this summer. Here’s hoping for a championship repeat!