The NBA season has been suspended due to the new coronavirus pandemic. Several NBA players have been infected with the virus. Boston Celtics’ Marcus Smart was sickened by COVID-19 but has made a full recovery and will be donating his blood for an experimental treatment for the virus, according to People.
Corona Free as of two days ago. Cleared by Mass Dept of Health.
Thanks for everyone’s thoughts and prayers and I’m doing the same for everyone that’s been effected by this. Stay safe and stay together- apart!
— marcus smart (@smart_MS3) March 30, 2020
Earlier this week, Dr. Michael Joyner of the National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project told ABC News that the antibodies from the athletes who have had the coronavirus could be used to help the sickest of the patients who also have it find relief from the respiratory virus. The experimental therapy, called convalescent plasma, utilizes the antibodies in the blood donated from recovered patients to potentially curb the virus in sick patients.
“These are big men with blood volumes, and as a result have a lot of plasma volume,” Joyner said of the basketball players who had the virus. “Frequently, people who are physically trained also have an increase in their plasma volume from what you would expect from them just being regular-sized guys.”
Joyner, an anesthesiologist at the Mayo Clinic, also revealed that at least three other NBA players who have recently recovered from the virus infection plan to donate their blood for the National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project. “We believe it can be disease-modifying and reduce duration and severity in some patients,” said Joyner.
Just this past weekend, the NBA reached out to all the team doctors and encouraged players who have recovered from the coronavirus to consider donating their plasma to the project. The NBA also donated $100,000 to the National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project as part of the recently launched NBA Together campaign.