Beal Test Positive for COVID-19, USA Basketball Looking for Replacement
The US Men’s Team is scrambling to find a replacement for Bradley Beal.
Earlier in the week, the Washington Wizards star entered Team USA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocol and has subsequently been taken off the roster.
As a result of Beal’s positive test, USA Basketball cancelled its upcoming game against Australia which was set to be played on Friday night in Las Vegas “out of an abundance of caution”. No other member of the team has tested positive for the virus, but Jerami Grant has also entered protocol for cautionary reasons. The Detroit Pistons forward is expected to be cleared for travel with the team.
USA Basketball is working to replace guard Bradley Beal on the team’s Olympic roster ahead of trip to Japan, sources tell ESPN. Beal entered into health and safety protocols.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 15, 2021
“Our goal overall is we’re trying to get everybody safely to Tokyo,” commented USA Basketball’s head coach Gregg Popovich on the situation. “and at the same time prepare a basketball team to be successful. We’re trying to be vigilant about what we do, where we go.”
“I’m dying for [Beal]. We all are. Since he was a little kid, this has been a dream of his, and he was playing great. … For him and his immediate family, it’s devastating. We just feel horrible about it.
USA Basketball officials are looking through the initial 57-player pool to find a potential replacement for Beal.
“We have to make sure somebody is in shape because we don’t have time once we get there with just a couple of practices,” Popovich said. “It’s going to take a certain individual that we think can pick it all up quickly.”
The Olympic Games in Tokyo are set to begin on July 23rd.