I copied this out of the Chicago Tribune:


The bubble athlete

It's a game day for the Chicago Sky, so guard Courtney Vandersloot has her day mapped out.

She has a small breakfast when she wakes - some cereal or yogurt with granola - before the team meets in the film room before a shootaround. She gets in a workout before she goes to take her daily COVID-19 test. Grabs some lunch but makes and eats a bigger breakfast. Then it's time for a nap, usually around an hour and a half but maybe as long as 2 1/2 hours if the Sky have a late game before she wakes and eats that lunch. After that, it's usually about time to head to the gym for the game.

Vandersloot is a creature of habit, so it comes natural to her to develop a routine. But the days inside the WNBA's controlled campus - which the players nicknamed the wubble at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., - make it easy to do so, especially when so many of them feel similar.

The Sky played a game nearly every other day since the season tipped off July 26, squeezing a 22-game schedule into seven weeks, with practices on the days in between.

"It's crazy because it's not a lot," Vandersloot said during a phone interview. "It's interesting but it's a lot of the same."

The safest way for sports leagues to play games during a pandemic has been to create a bubble - an environment in which the players live, sleep, practice and play, where COVID-19 tests can be administered daily and there are no debates about wearing a face mask in public.

Vandersloot feels fortunate the league has created the environment to protect its players and feels especially fortunate to have her wife and teammate, Allie Quigley, alongside her for the ride.

But the bubble also takes a toll. And the athletes, who are isolated from the rest of the world, have to pay it.

"Early on, it was so new and we were so tired from being quarantined that it was kind of exciting that we got to do things and see people and hang out and play basketball," Vandersloot said. "And then it got to a point where it's like - we're still here. It's flown by but also felt like we've been here forever."

There are some advantages to playing inside the bubble. Vandersloot enjoys not having to travel, and playing games frequently has allowed her to stay in a rhythm on the court. She's having a career year in her 10th season, averaging a career high in points and assists - a category in which she leads in the league by far - while contributing more win shares per 40 minutes than any other season of her career.

The bubble also has brought Sky players closer together. Social media has been flooded with videos of them dancing together, screaming to blow out birthday candles or just getting together for taco nights or playing flag football to change things up a bit in practice.

"It's like we have this support system built in," Vandersloot said. "We have a lot of fun together, but also during the hard time and difficult times we know that we're all in this together and everybody is feeling the same. We talk about how we will talk about this season for years to come."

I think this the link. The Tribune wanted me to subscribe to see more pages: https://www.chicagotribune.com/sport...phq-story.html