Zach LaVine latest USA basketball player sidelined from COVID-19 protocol


LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 12: Zach LaVine #5 of the United States is guarded by Matisse Thybulle #22 of the Australia Boomers during an exhibition game at Michelob Ultra Arena ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games on July 12, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Australia defeated the United States 91-83. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — Chicago Bulls star guard Zach LaVine is the latest Team USA basketball player to wind up in COVID-19 protocols.

The team announced on Twitter LaVine, 26, will not travel with the team to Tokyo Monday.

“We hope that Zach will be able to join the team in Tokyo later this week,” it read. It did not say if he tested positive.

The International Olympic Committee says 58 people associated with the games including athletes, personnel, contractors and media in Japan have tested positive for COVID and have been quarantined.

LaVine had the third most points on the team in its four exhibition games. He finished with an average of 43 points per game.

USA basketball’s first men’s Olympic match is against France July 25 at 8 a.m. ET.

Gymnast Kara Eaker, an alternate on Team USA, is quarantining in Japan after testing positive there. Her father, Mark Eaker, said it’s disappointing.

“She’s followed the letter to the letter of the law and done everything right,” he said. “And she still winds up with positive tests. So that’s crazy.”

If he cannot attend, LaVine would be the latest in a growing line of American athletes bowing out because of the pandemic. Tennis wunderkind Coco Gauff and NBA star Bradley Beal both withdrew in recent days because of positive tests. WNBA player Katie Lou Samuelson tested positive for COVID-19 despite being vaccinated.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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