NBA star Jrue Holiday of the New Orleans Pelicans recently demonstrated that there are some people who still value and honor their wedding vow to stand beside their spouse in sickness and in health. When Holiday’s wife, Lauren, was stricken with a brain tumor, the talented guard informed the Pelicans and the NBA that he would be stepping away from basketball indefinitely to care for her.
The news was a sad blow to the Holiday family, further complicated by the fact that Lauren is eight months pregnant with the couple’s first child. Jrue’s teammates in New Orleans were quick to step up and offer their support, stating their wishes for improved health and a full recovery for Lauren.
Lauren is also a former athlete. She was a standout on the United States Women’s Soccer team, retiring after the US team’s victory over Japan in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Lauren met Jrue when they were both attending UCLA. At that time, both of them were involved with other people, but after Jrue was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in 2009 they both found themselves single and began dating. Their relationship blossomed and in 2013 the two were married in a fairytale setting.
The New Orleans Pelicans announced on September 4, 2016, that Jrue would be taking an extended leave to care for Lauren and stand beside her through the difficult months that lie ahead. A surgery to remove the tumor has been scheduled for six weeks after the birth, but this timeframe may be pushed forward if Lauren’s labor is induced.
In prepared statements, team officials expressed their wishes for a full recovery and safe childbirth. They also made it clear that the team fully supports Jrue’s decision and will welcome him back with open arms when the time comes.
As for Jrue, he was very low-key regarding the announcement. He stated that his family came before basketball. The team and Jrue also requested privacy from the media and fans during this challenging time.
The announcement comes as the New Orleans Pelicans begin to prepare for the 2016-17 NBA season, a season it now appears they will face without their skilled guard. Yet, despite the obvious challenges presented by Holiday’s departure, there is a sense of pride among Pelican fans that one of their own was able to draw the important distinction between life and basketball.