Arizona basketball players Sam Thomas and Nico Mannion have posted on social media encouraging and thoughtful statements pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic that forced the NCAA to cancel their appearances in the women’s and men’s NCAA tournaments.
Thomas, in her upbeat style, tells Arizona fans in a video posted on Twitter that “safety is what’s most important” concerning the decision of the NCAA to cut short one of the best season’s in the program’s history.
— Arizona Athletics (@AZATHLETICS) March 19, 2020
“As we work together to stop the spread of the coronavirus, it’s important that we practice social distancing,” said Thomas, who was a member of the Pac-12’s All-Defensive Team this past season for coach Adia Barnes.
Mannion, of Italian descent, sent out a heartfelt message on Twitter yesterday about Italy’s severe crisis with COVID-19, which included a reported 475 deaths from the disease yesterday.
please read❤️🇮🇹 pic.twitter.com/TUZvBtfCPu
— niccolo (@niccolomannion) March 18, 2020
“For the ones out there that think the USA is overreacting, please pay attention to the numbers!” he wrote. “This virus has greatly affected my beautiful country. I have isolated loved ones over there that have been in isolation for two weeks now. I just want to create awareness.
“Remember, we have the ability to control the spreading of COVID-19. Please, everyone try and do their part by staying inside or making sure to keep your distance from others if possible. Even though you know you will probably survive this virus, there are many people that will not. Let’s work together and help put an end to this by social distancing and remembering to always wash your hands! Stay strong Italy! Forza Italia!”
As of this morning, there have been 35,713 reported cases of COVID-19 in Italy with 2,978 deaths. In the United States, where less testing has taken place to this point, a reported 9,521 cases have been confirmed with 160 deaths.
To learn more about COVID-19, please visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Web Site.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.