LAS VEGAS — Katie Lou Samuelson is out of 3-on-3 basketball at the Olympics after contracting COVID-19 while training in Las Vegas.
“I will not be able to go and compete in Tokyo,” Samuelson said in a statement. “Competing in the Olympics has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl and I hope someday soon I can come back to realize that dream. I am especially heartbroken as I am fully vaccinated and took every precaution, but I know everything will work itself out in the way it’s supposed to. I wish nothing but the best to my USAB teammates as they go out there and crush it. I’ll be cheering you in every step of the way.”
Samuelson, who plays for the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, flew home to get vaccinated during her European season so that she would be ready to help the U.S. qualify for the Olympics in May.
She’ll be replaced on the roster by Jackie Young, who played for the U.S. in a 3-on-3 training camp in 2020 and also competed in the event in the 2019 World Beach Games. Young joins Stefanie Dolson, Allisha Gray and her Las Vegas Aces teammate Kelsey Plum.
The Americans had been in Las Vegas training for a week and getting tested every day. They got together off the court only for breakfast and lunch and kept their distance from each other during those meals.
The U.S. team was flying with the 5-on-5 men’s and women’s team to Tokyo on Monday. The inaugural Olympic 3-on-3 tournament starts on July 24 with preliminary rounds played until July 27. The quarterfinals will be played on the 27th with the semifinals and finals the next day.