In light of the recent discovery of hometown superstar Chavano “Buddy” Hield testing positive for COVID-19, the Sacramento Kings’ shooting guard has received a number of well wishes from residents on social media platforms and otherwise.
The Freeport News reached out to longtime coach Gladstone “Moon” McPhee, who, has a well-documented history with the 6’5’’ guard. Much like everyone the news came as a surprise.
While there was no report on where Hield could have contracted the virus, the sharpshooter’s performance in the Skinz League went viral. He scored 45 points while sinking 13 three-pointers. The game was played in Oklahoma City earlier this month.
“I am surprised. But, I found out he was working out. He just loves the game so much. We all believe at times it won’t happen to us, but it just happened and it’s unfortunate.
“I know this will be the hardest 14 days in his life whereby he can’t play or workout, and he loves the game so much. All we can do is keep him in our prayers,” said McPhee.
Hield is one of several National Basketball Association’s (NBA) players to have tested positive for COVID-19, just ahead of the league’s re-start set for July 30.
The news was reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania on June 24. Two of his teammates, center Alex Len and forward Jabari Parker, reportedly also tested positive for the virus. There was no report on where each player contracted the virus.
Hield and the other players who tested positive must now quarantine for two weeks as teams get set to begin training camp for the league’s return-to-play. June 22 marks the return of players to their respective training facilities.
According to CBSSports.com, the NBA began phase two of six, of their plan to resume the season, which meant teams could begin testing their players.
Since then, a number of NBA players have been tagged as COVID-19 positive, including the Denver Nuggets’ center Nikola Jokic, Indiana Pacers’ point guard Malcom Brogdo, and, two unnamed players from the Phoenix Suns.
The NBA is said to be prepared for a wave of positive tests in the coming days.
The Sacramento Kings are a part of the 22 teams set to resume the season at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Training camp begins June 30 and teams will begin travel to the bubble location on July 7.
The Kings will resume the season in the 11th seed with a 28-36 record, 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies who are holding the eighth and final playoff spot in the western conference.
Hield is one of the main contributors to the Kings’ success. Hield is the team’s second leading scorer at 19.8 points per game while shooting 42.9 percent from the field and 39.5 percent from the three-point arch. He also averaged 4.8 rebounds and a career-high in assists at 3.1 per game.
The 22 teams set to resume the season, will play eight regular season games, then there will be a play-in tournament which will feature the number eight and number nine teams in both eastern and western conferences. If the ninth seed finishes the regular season within four games of the eighth seed, the number eight seed enters a double-elimination tournament, and the number nine seed a single-elimination tournament.
Teams already locked into playoff spots include Western Conference leaders in the Los Angeles Lakers (49-14) and Eastern conference leaders, the Milwaukee Bucks (53-12).
Second in the East are the Toronto Raptors (46-18), with the Boston Celtics (43-21) following in third.
In fourth are the Miami Heat (41-24), fifth place the Indiana Pacers (39-26), and sixth place the Philadelphia 76’ers (39-26) - who are all expected to clinch playoff berths.
The Brooklyn Nets (30-34), Orlando Magic (30-35) hold the seventh and eighth spots respectively in that conference while the Wizards will play from ninth place at 24-40).
With the eight-game format in the West, the second place Clippers (44-20), third place Denver Nuggets (43-22), fourth place Utah Jazz (41-23), fifth place Oklahoma City Thunder (40-24), sixth place Houston Rockets (40-24) are expected to clinch berths out West.
The seventh place Dallas Mavericks, at 40-27, are on the verge of clinching their play-off berth out West. The Trailblazers hold the ninth seed at 29-37, the Pelicans are 10th at 28-36, the Spurs are in 12th place at 27-36, Bahamian DeAndre Ayton and the Suns are 13th in the west at 26-39.
The league suspended play back in March due to COVID-19 pandemic.