SEATTLE -- Seattle Storm Guard and former Washington Husky, Sami Whitcomb, is back with her family in Perth, Australia after getting stranded in France for a month due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Like most women playing professional basketball, Sami splits her time between playing in the United States and overseas. This year COVID-19 cut her European season short. Sami played the last two years for BLMA in Montpellier, France competing in both the French and Euroleague competitions.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Europe, the French League was suspended forcing Sami to isolate for about a month in France, alone. It was a much different experience than what we've seen in the United States.
"French quarantine, as well during my time there, each day and each week kind of got more extreme as well and the rules and guidelines became tighter and tighter and then it got to the point where you could only go outside for the grocery stores and exercise and then that even got restricted to you could go outside but only for an hour. The cops were around all the time, monitoring that, stopping you at lights to see where you're going and why. You always had to have your id and this note, in french, that said where you were going, why you were going, what time you left, all of those things," Sami explains.
The Storm standout is a dual citizen calling both Australia and America home. When she's not playing, Sami lives in Perth with her wife, Kate. When the French League finally decided to cancel the rest of their season, Sami got on the next flight out of Paris.
Now, back in Perth, Sami has spent the last two weeks in government required quarantine at a hotel. If she continues to remain healthy, Sami should be able to finally return home this week.
The pandemic has touched Sami on a deep level.
"It's a human thing right now for sure. I think that being an American, being an Australian but then living in Europe and getting to see that side of it as well has really proven that to me. It's not selective, anybody can get this and all over the world people are being impacted by it and I think that you don't ever want anybody to suffer but I think knowing that we all are sort of enduring this together, you do find a bit of comfort in that and I hope that it makes it easier for people to make these sacrifices for each other because we are a community and not just of Americans or Australians or Europeans like we're a community of humans and hopefully it does give everybody a bit of a perspective on how fragile life is but how close and connected we all really are," says Sami.