Gold Medalist Lauren Holiday Battles Brain Tumor With Pro-Basketball Hubby's Help

Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images.
Soccer player Lauren Holiday, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, is pregnant and battling a brain tumor. The 28-year-old retired from the U.S. women's national soccer team in 2015 to marry her longtime beau, NBA player Jrue Holiday, and he's now taking a leave from his career to care for her.

The Times-Picayune is reporting that Holiday, who is the starting point guard for the New Orleans Pelicans, will miss an indefinite amount of time during the regular season to serve as his wife's caretaker. Holiday has spent the last three years of his NBA career sidelined with injuries, according to The Los Angeles Times.

However, his team is supporting his decision to take time away from the basketball court.

"The most important thing for Jrue to do right now is be with his wife and family," Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said in a statement to The Los Angeles Times. "Every one of our coaches and players understands what Lauren and Jrue are going through, and they know we're behind them 100%. We'll continue to do everything we can to support them and help them get through these hard times."

According to The Times-Picayune, the couple discovered Lauren's brain tumor in June, almost a year after she won the FIFA World Cup title with the U.S. women's national soccer team. They've been in a relationship since they starred in their respective sports at UCLA and married in 2013.

Her brain tumor is operable and she is expected to make a full recovery. However, she won't have surgery until after she gives birth in mid-October. Holiday plans to stay by his wife's side until she's back at full health.

"My family comes before basketball," the 26-year-old told The Times-Picayune. "I'm obviously blessed to play this game and be in the position I am in, but my wife is the most important thing in the world to me. She comes before anything else."

The New Orleans Pelicans will welcome Holiday back whenever he's ready to return.

"We encourage Jrue to take as much time as he needs to be with his wife and family before returning to the Pelicans," Dell Demps, the team's general manager, said in a statement to The Los Angeles Times. "We understand that Jrue will miss some games, and his teammates are prepared to step up in his absence. We will welcome Jrue back with open arms when he is ready to return to the team."
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