Asia Durr shares heartbreaking story of COVID-19 fight with HBO’s ‘Real Sports’

Photo Credit: Lamar Carter

When former Louisville basketball great Asia Durr was selected second overall in the 2019 WNBA draft to the New York Liberty, it not only signified the beginning of a virtual Derby City-to-Gotham pipeline, it was with the expectation that Durr would be a key piece in the Liberty’s on-court rebuild after what was a trying 2018 on- and off-court for New York.

That pipeline has since expanded to include Jazmine Jones and Kylee Shook, both selected by the Lib in last year’s draft.

Durr did not make it to the IMG Academy bubble last season with the rest of her Liberty teammates after testing positive for COVID-19. And as she shared in a harrowing interview with HBO’s “Real Sports,” her fight has been a prolonged battle.


There’s days where I feel great, like, I can go out and go to the store or I can clean up and then there’s days where I’m like, I just have to stay in the bed … you just feel like you get hit by a bus.

–Asia Durr, New York Liberty (HBO’s “Real Sports”)

She revealed to Mary Carillo that since being diagnosed with the coronavirus in June, she has experienced lung issues and even occasions where she has spit up blood, comparing what has happened with her to if someone “took a long knife and was just stabbing you in your lungs each second.”


It’s really challenging for me, but I’ve talked to doctors and they’ve told me … I’m not cleared yet. I’m not cleared to be able to do anything physically which could cause flare-ups … 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.

–Asia Durr, New York Liberty (HBO’s “Real Sports”)

The 23-year old entered the WNBA with high expectations after establishing herself as one of the greatest athletes in Louisville history. Because of her ongoing saga with COVID-19, she is unsure as to if she will even play basketball again.


That question has definitely crossed my mind plenty of times. And that’s when I … give it to God.

–Asia Durr, New York Liberty (HBO’s “Real Sports”)

Durr averaged nearly 10 points per game, posted an 82% free throw percentage and shot approximately 47% from the field in her first season in the WNBA with the Liberty – one in which she played 18 games. New York finished with a 10-24 record that season (its final of two go-rounds at Westchester County Center) en route to the first overall pick (Sabrina Ionescu) in the 2020 draft.

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