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Cunningham beats COVID-19, embraces WNBA Bubble


Former Mizzou and Rock Bridge basketball standout Sophie Cunningham is embracing the WNBA Bubble at the IMG Academy in Florida.

ABC 17 Sports Director Andrew Kauffman caught up with Cunningham on Tuesday. You can watch the entire interview in the video player above.

Cunningham said she had COVID-19 in June, and she quarantined in Springfield, Mo. for 28 days before arriving at the IMG Academy on Sunday.

"That is why I didn't get to come here on July 6 when everyone else got here," Cunningham said.

The four-time state champion said she feels lucky her symptoms were mild for the most part. She said she dealt with fatigue, a sore throat and headaches for about three to four days. Since testing positive for COVID-19, Cunningham said she hasn't played basketball at all.

"Yes, I feel like I need to catch up because I haven't done anything for a month, but I also feel very confident in the skill development and all of the shooting I got in prior to June 18," Cunningham said. "I'm feeling confident. I'm feeling really good about the season. Now, I just need to get in shape."

Cunningham said she was hesitant to attend the WNBA Bubble at first, be she's now fully onboard.

"Where I'm at in my career right now, this is the perfect opportunity to fully focus on my fitness, my mental performance and really dedicating my whole life to the game," Cunningham said. "I have no outside distractions, so I'm using this opportunity to embrace it. I think it's going to be such a positive and really good thing for where I'm at in my career, so I'm hyped for it. I'm super excited."

Cunningham said she's currently in the middle of a four-day mandatory WNBA Bubble quarantine. She's by herself in a hotel room at the IMG Academy until Thursday. The former Mizzou star said she'll then move in with two of her teammates, Brittney Griner and Brianna Turner, in a villa in another part of the IMG Academy campus.

The Phoenix Mercury will play a 22-game season starting on July 25 at 2 p.m. against Los Angeles. You can watch the game on ABC 17.

College Sports / Mizzou Tigers

Andrew Kauffman

Andrew Kauffman is ABC 17’s sports director. He started working at the station in 2015.


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