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Asia “AD” Durr has a new team after a two-year bout with COVID-19.
The New York Liberty traded the former No. 2 overall pick to the Atlanta Dream in exchange for forward Megan Walker and the draft rights to Raquel Carrera, the Dream’s 2021 second-round pick, the Dream announced Wednesday.
From the Dream:
“We are excited for the opportunity to add AD to our roster,” said head coach Tanisha Wright. “We understand the obstacles AD has fought through to get back to playing basketball, and we look forward to teaming up with them and continuing that journey. AD’s talent speaks for itself, and we think there is no better place to unlock it than here in their home state.”
The move represents a homecoming for AD, who grew up in the Atlanta area and will now try to revive a career that saw them miss the last two seasons due to one of the worst cases of COVID-19 the sports world has seen.
Can AD find success again with the Dream?
Rewind to the end of 2019, and AD's career looked promising. One of the most exciting players in college basketball had turned in a solid rookie season, averaging 9.7 points per game and cementing themself as a starter of the rebuilding Liberty, despite a season-ending hip surgery.
And then AD contracted COVID-19. Here's how they described the resulting battle to Sports Illustrated's Ben Pickman:
What transpired in the nearly 24 months since has changed their life in nearly every way. Physically, AD dealt with “stabbing” lung pain and brain fog, nausea and dizziness. They suffered from long-haul COVID-19, experiencing heart palpitations, shortness of breath, chills, sweats, stomach and gut issues, body aches and headaches. In the first month after contracting the virus, they lost 32 pounds. They were put into a “really dark place for quite some time,” they say.
AD feared they might be added to the virus’s death count. Over the next two years, they’d have that thought five or six times. “I was literally suffering every day. I felt I was dying,” AD says
Durr was in no condition to play for both the 2020 bubble season and the 2021 season. They finally announced they had been cleared to play last November, but the struggles didn't end there.
In 10 games with the last-place Liberty, AD has averaged 1.4 points per game and shot 3-of-17 total. We'll see if the Dream can find a way to get them back to their 2019 shape.