The U.S. national team has canceled a trip to Senegal after the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
The Americans were scheduled to interrupt their World Cup of Basketball preparations to travel to the African continent for the first time, conducting a joint clinic on Aug. 27 with the Senegal national team. They planned to tour Senegal’s Goree Island and attend a reception hosted by the Senegalese government.
But USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said Friday the Americans had no choice but to call off the trip because of the risk involved with Senegal’s location near countries where the outbreak has been deadly.
“We feel really badly about it, disappointed about it because I think our whole group — players, coaches, staff — were thinking it was going to be a terrific experience top to bottom,” Colangelo said.
More than 1,000 people have died in West Africa in the last six months after the outbreak quickly spread to major cities in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Ebola causes a high fever, bleeding and vomiting. The virus is transmitted by contact with bodily fluids like blood, sweat and urine.
It has no cure or licensed treatment and has been fatal in at least 50 percent of the cases, health experts say.
“When they declare a public emergency like they did, we didn’t have any other choice, disappointed as we are that we’re not going to go,” Colangelo said.
Instead, the Americans will remain in Spain and perhaps add an extra practice before the World Cup, which begins Aug. 30 in that country.
Paul George said Friday he hopes to make it back on the court next season despite the “freak accident” that caused a compound fracture in his right leg.
George says the leg broke in two spots when he collided with a basketball stanchion, and that a rod was inserted during surgery Aug. 2. Doctors placed pins in the knee and ankle to hold the rod in place. The leg is now protected by a hard cast.
Coach Frank Vogel and Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird said Tuesday that George has not been ruled out for the season though they didn’t expect to have him.
George has been told he will make a full recovery.
... Bulls star guard Derrick Rose will suit up for the first time at the United Center since his latest season-ending knee injury when the U.S. national team meets Brazil in a tuneup today for the World Cup of Basketball.
... Warriors guard Shaun Livingston is expected to be out 6-8 weeks after having arthroscopic surgery on the big toe of his right foot.