Due to health concerns relating to COVID-19, former North Carolina women's basketball player Jessica Breland is opting out of the 2020 WNBA season.
Breland received medical exemption from the league on Sunday due to a history with cancer, which has been linked to higher chances of experiencing symptoms from COVID-19.
During her tenure at UNC, Breland was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. This caused her to sit out during the 2009-10 season before returning the next season. After the 2010-11 season, Breland was drafted 13th overall to the Minnesota Lynx before ultimately starting her career with the New York Liberty.
Breland, now with the Phoenix Mercury, released a statement about her decision to sit out for the 2020 season, which is scheduled to begin July 25.
“These last two weeks have been really hard for me,” Breland wrote in her statement. “As a cancer survivor you fear relapse, but you never think about the long term effects chemotherapy reeked on your body. The threat of COVID has forced me to acknowledge a harsh reality. ... My battle with cancer years ago left me vulnerable to COVID.”