Asia Durr scored 2,485 points during her University of Louisville career (UofLCardGame photo).

Asia Durr sidelined by effects of ruthless pandemic

Sorry to hear that Asia Durr, one of the best University of Louisville women’s basketball players ever, is still suffering from Covid-19 and that her career as a professional could be in jeopardy. The disease struck in June, causing her to miss the entire WNBA season, as well as off-season competition in France.

Only 23, she deserves a much better future than one marred by a mysterious and ugly viral pandemic.

Asia Durr is congratulated by Al Benninger, longtime UofL stats leader, after scoring 36 points in the second half against Syracuse in 2019 (UofLCardGame photo).

To say she was beloved while at UofL is an understatement. She was greatly admired for her personality and  deeply respected because of her humility.  Even more so because she was Louisville’s second all-time leading scorer from 2015 to 2019. So her fans feel her pain when she says, “I couldn’t breathe,” Durr said. “I was spitting up blood. It was just lung pain that was just so severe. It felt like somebody took a long knife and was just stabbing you in your lungs each second.”

Asia told Bryant Gumbel on HBO’s Real Sports that she has lost 32 pounds during the ordeal. She’s also considered a “long hauler” by the medical community, meaning there’s no real way of knowing how she will continue to suffer. Whether she will be able to return to her first love, the game of basketball, is very much up in the air.

“Doctors said I’m not cleared yet to do anything physically that can cause flare ups,” she said. “That’s what’s really hard for me because 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.”

With injuries plaguing her, she started in only two games during her freshman year at UofL. Despite her early struggles, she still wound up at the program’s second all-time leading scorer with 2,485 points behind only Angel McCoughtry. She owns the all-time single game scoring record with 47 points against Ohio State  in 2017-18, scoring 13 of her team’s 15 points in an overtime win. She once scored 34 points in one half, winding up with 36 points in a win over Syracuse during the 2016-17 season.

Drafted second in the 2019 WNBA draft by the New York Liberty, she appeared in 18 games, starting in 15 averaging 26.7 minutes per game and 9.7 points per game. Her rookie season was cut short by a hip injury that forced her to sit out nearly half the season.

Asia was always a joy to watch at UofL and her smile was infectious. A good person, worthy of all the many awards she earned during her college career. Here’s hoping prayers for her are answered soon.

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Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.