Former Mater Dei High School standout Katie Lou Samuelson announced Monday she will be unable to play 3X3 basketball in the Tokyo Olympics because of the coronavirus.
“I am devastated to share that after getting sick with COVID-19, I will not be able to go and compete in Tokyo,” the 24-year-old Huntington Beach resident wrote on her Instagram account.
“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 and 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 its 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 on every step of the way.”
Samuelson was placed in USA Basketball’s health and safety protocols Saturday. She will be replaced on the four-player team by Jackie Young, a guard with the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces.
Samuelson averaged 3.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament May 26-30 in Graz, Austria, helping the U.S. to a 6-0 record and qualify for the Olympics.
The U.S. is scheduled to begin play in the inaugural 3×3 Olympic basketball competition Saturday at 1:55 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time against France.
3X3 is played with a 12-second shot clock on a half court. Baskets inside the arc and free throws are worth one point and baskets made from outside the arc are worth two points.
The winner is the first team to score 21 points or the leading team at the end of the 10-minute game clock.
Samuelson was selected as the national player of the year by Gatorade, USA Monday, McDonald’s, WBCA and Naismith as a senior at Mater Dei in the 2014-15 season. She was a four-year starter at Connecticut, helping lead the Huskies to the 2016 NCAA championship as a freshman.
Samuelson was chosen by the Chicago Sky with the fourth overall selection in the 2019 WNBA draft. She was traded to the Dallas Wings before the start of the 2020 season, averaging 5.0 points in 20 games. She was traded to the Seattle Storm before the start of the 2021 season.
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