Aussie star discovers perils of isolation

People across the world slowly lost their minds after being locked indoors thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.

Health restrictions saw the vast majority of people remaining indoors and only venturing out to either walk the dog or quickly duck down to the shops.

The pandemic also saw workplaces shift to remote set ups to limit groupings of people. For most it meant going from the office set up to the couch in scenes akin to Groundhog Day.

But for professional athletes, being trapped indoors presented a whole new challenge for their normal routines and saw competitions across the globe come to an end.

For Australian NBA star and Spalding ambassador Matthew Dellavedova, he learned just how difficult life in isolation can be in the early stages of lockdown.

“The first six weeks we spent in Cleveland in a two-bedroom apartment, so I didn’t have access to a court or a hoop and it was still snowing every now and then outside so was running in downtown Cleveland through the snow,” Dellavedova said to news.com.au.

“The last few weeks we’ve been out in California and I’ve had access to a court and it’s been a lot more fun to get back onto the court and actually shoot hoops.”

But it was trying to keep up not only his fitness levels, but his basketball skills that caused plenty of unrest for Dellavedova and ultimately his neighbours, as the team went through drills in the safest way possible … via zoom.

“We’ve obviously had team meetings, we’ve done yoga classes. Our strength coach put together a few training classes,” Dellavedova said.

“One of our coaches did some ball handling workouts which, uh, when I was in Cleveland was interesting. I definitely think I owe my neighbours, downstairs and on either side, some tickets to some games when it can come back.

“I tried to keep it at a reasonable hour of the day, but it would have been pretty loud I think with the ball inside the apartment.”

Unfortunately for Delly the NBA return won’t include the Cleveland Cavaliers with the squad sitting to far outside of the playoff race to be in involved.

Despite the 2019/20 season being on ice for Delly, his focus has shifted to the future and what could happen when the Boomers assemble for the Tokyo Olympics.

“It’s disappointing, but we’re going to get together in the off-season and give it another crack,” Dellavedova said.

“I know we’re all motivated to go better and it’s probably going to be one of the last opportunities for this kind of core group that’s been together for quite a while.

“We’ve had confidence for a longtime that we can win against anybody and unfortunately we haven’t been able to get it done yet. But we’re all very motivated to finish the job.”

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