COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Eleven days ago, President Trump addressed the nation from the Oval Office to outline a plan to combat the coronavirus. One measure centered on restricting travel from Europe to the U.S. for 30 days.
The decision worried a former Gamecock playing basketball overseas.
On March 11th, former Gamecock basketball player, Ashley Bruner, was abroad competing in the top professional women’s league in France.
“We had a game,” Bruner said. “And, the next day is when things started to fall apart.”
That night, President Trump implemented new travel restrictions due to mounting concerns on the spread of Coronavirus.
“We will be suspending all travel from Europe to the united states for the next 30 days,” President Trump said in his address to the nation.
“That’s when panic kind of set in,” Bruner added. “A week before that, my mom was telling me to come home. She was like, ‘It’s time to come home. It’s getting serious.’”
Bruner, along with other American teammates, quickly tried to understand the restriction and the situation in France, where she was residing at the time.
“In the moment, it was pretty frightening not to know the immediate future of what’s going on right now,” Bruner said. “France was closing its borders. No one had official information. More anxiety than panic.”
Five days following the new travel restrictions, Bruner and her American teammates were given the green light to go home.
“2:36 p.m., they text the group chat, they say ‘Hey, we’re going to let you guys go home, we’ll pay you back,’” exclaimed Bruner. “2:48 pm, I had my ticket home.”
Bruner departed from France on Wednesday the 18th.
"It was the perfect travel day," Bruner said. "Landed in JFK, walked out, doing the temperature test, please don't have a fever. It was 97.1. Ok, great!"
She continued the journey home to Columbia, where she is now self-quarantined."
“All that anxiety is gone,” Bruner said with a smile. “I’m so relieved. I’m so happy to be home.”
Before all of this transpired, Bruner was contemplating her future playing overseas. Bruner’s competed abroad professionally for seven years. She adds after the struggle to get home and stress that she will continue to think about what is the next step.
For now, like many of us, she’s staying at home and finding things to do, such as watching Netflix and Disney-plus.
And, for Gamecock fans, if you’re wondering, Bruner wholeheartedly believes they should deliver South Carolina a national championship trophy.
“I think they should helicopter the trophy in and drop it in a parachute in the middle of Lincoln Street,” Bruner said.
I think we can all agree with that.