Asia Durr

Asia Durr speaks with HBO's Real Sports about her "long haul" recovery struggles from COVID-19.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Former University of Louisville basketball All-American Asia Durr revealed her long, quiet struggle to recover from COVID-19 in an interview with Mary Carillo of HBO’s Real Sports, which aired for the first time on Tuesday night.

Durr, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 WNBA Draft, announced last June that she would miss the season because of COVID-19 complications. She also had signed a professional contract to play in France, but missed that season, too, as she fought to recover.

In the HBO interview, Durr provided new details of her fight to get back to the basketball court.

“There’s days where I feel great, like I could go out and go to the store or I could clean up, and then there’s days where I’m like, ‘I just have to stay in the bed,’” Durr said. “It’s just like you feel like you get hit by a bus. . . . My life has completely changed since June 8.”

Durr was in prime physical condition, a professional athlete with a promising future when she contracted the disease. Now, she has questions about when she’ll return to the basketball court – or if she will.

She told HBO that she has lost 32 pounds, and that her symptoms were severe.

“I was back and forth seeing doctors, hospital stuff,” she said. “I couldn’t breathe. I was spitting up blood. Lung pain that was just so severe it felt like somebody took a long knife and was just stabbing me in the lungs, each second. I woke up at 2 o’clock in the morning, vomiting, going back and forth to the bathroom, couldn’t keep anything down.”

Durr is what has come to be known as a “long hauler” COVID patient, one for whom significant symptoms remain even after the virus has run its course.

The toughest part, she said, is that she hasn’t been cleared to return to the basketball court in any capacity, lest she spark a “flare up” of her condition.

“It’s really challenging for me,” she said. “. . . In life, whenever something was hard, I would go and play. I can’t even do that now. I can’t even shoot a free throw.”

Since the story aired, Durr has received messages from support from around the world.

“I’m grateful that I get to tell my story to the world,” she Tweeted on Wednesday. “It’s definitely been a challenge, but gotta keep fighting. Only choice. Couldn’t do this without God and a great support system.”

She also posted, “My hope is that in sharing my struggle, it will help others. PLEASE take COVID seriously folks. It’s very real. Wear a mask! Protect each other. Young people, athletes, you too. We are not invincible.”

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