Daleo's progress in Thailand 'derailed' by COVID-19

Published: Mar. 17, 2020 at 10:53 PM CDT
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COVID-19 is changing the way we live our lives, but for people like basketball coach Chris Daleo, it's costing more than a few seconds at the sink.

"My hope is that the phone rings," said Daleo.

Unfortunately, like many others Daleo is without a job and just waiting for the coronavirus pandemic to pass.

The former Rockford Lightning head coach was unaware of the true gravity of the situation until a recent post-game press conference in South Korea.

"The first question that was posed to me was "What's your travel arrangements? Because we're shutting down our borders and shutting down flights." I'm like 'Wait a second. I've got to get the heck out of here.'"

Daleo's season was canceled and he escaped just before being trapped by any travel restrictions. He says life changed dramatically before his departure.

"A lot of face-masks, a lot of hand washing and a lot of temperature checking and then a lot of disappointment and a lot of broken dreams."

The dream has definitely been real over the last few years where Daleo has pushed Thailand hoops forward.

He won five straight league titles with Hi-Tech Bangkok City and reached 99th in the FIBA world rankings with the men's national team.

"I have a good body of work, productive, championships so you're always looking for opportunities and that's kind of where I'm at."

Daleo was well on his way to a sixth championship in a row, but that season is done and his status with the national team is up in the air.

He says the pandemic puts an end to all of that progress.

"I was hoping to keep that momentum going and keep that train going onto other things or bigger things, but this kind of derails it a little bit."

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