• Opals forward Rebecca Allen has sat out the WNBA's bubble season (Icon Sportswire)Source: Icon Sportswire
Aussie WNBA star Bec Allen has declared her call to sit out the season was one of the toughest decisions she has had to make in her career.
By
Nick Houghton

14 Aug 2020 - 5:59 PM  UPDATED 14 Aug 2020 - 6:08 PM

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With the rising risk of coronavirus in the United States, the New York Liberty forward has remained in Melbourne as the WNBA season plays on in a ‘bubble’ at IMG Academy in Florida.

Despite her excitement to take on a starring role for a young Liberty outfit this season, Allen said the global COVID-19 pandemic made her reassess what was most important.

“It was honestly one of the hardest decisions I've made. I have always been a big advocate for putting your health first and this situation was no different,” Allen said.

“It was such a big decision for me not to play this season because I know what my role would have been in the team.

"However, I was really nervous with how the situation with COVID-19 was escalating in the United States, and I just felt it was too big of a risk.

“At the end of the day I know I have made the right decision for me.”

The six-foot-two sharpshooter would have played a major role in a young Liberty side this season but instead of contributing on the court, Allen has been doing her best to keep involved as much as she can from the other side of the world.

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However, she admitted it has given her a chance to view the game in a different light.

“When you watch the matches on TV you still have similar emotions to as if you were playing because you are still so invested in it,” Allen said.

“One upside has been you see the game from a different perspective where you become more of a student of the game.

"I'm definitely going to take advantage of what I've learnt when I return to the court." 

While she is stuck in lockdown at her Melbourne home, the 27-year-old said the team has made an effort to ensure she remains a big part of their organisation.

“It’s been really nice how involved I’ve felt. The coach has reached out to me after a lot of the games just to get my input,' Allen said.

“It’s nice to have your opinion valued like that but also just keeping in contact with the team and being a part of the squad even though I’m not there."

New York Liberty has had a difficult season on the court with the team winning only one of their first nine games.

To make matter worse, number one draft pick Sabrina Ionescu has been ruled out indefinitely after suffering an injury in only her third game for the team.

But Allen said despite the struggles, it is not all doom and gloom for the Liberty.

“This year was never about the win-loss column; it is about building with our roster of young up and coming players,” she said.

“Sabrina (Ionescu) showed what she is capable of before she got injured and then we have had other rookies like Jazmine Jones who has been this incredible spark plug off the bench.

“This team is capable of so much and they just need time together on the court to learn how to make the most of their potential. “

On Sunday morning (AEST), New York takes on Minnesota Lynx and Allen believes her side could give them a shock.

“Even without Sabrina on the court the girls have been playing some great basketball and have forced opponents to play their starters right through to the final whistle,” she said.

“Coach Walt (Hopkins) has been pushing the team as they convert to a new style of basketball

“Each game I’ve seen so much development and I’m confident if they keep doing what they’re doing then the results will come.”

Catch all the action as New York Liberty face-off against Minnesota Lynx this Sunday, 16 August from 8am (AEST) live on  SBS VICELAND and SBS On Demand.