Ingles reveals what happened on night NBA was suspended
Australian sport power couple Joe and Renae Ingles are living in unprecedented times as coronavirus takes hold of the United States.
Safe at home in Utah, the family of four, featuring three-year-old twins Jacob and Milla, have passed 30 days in quarantine. It's the longest the family has spent together as life usually revolves around NBA star Joe's gruelling basketball schedule.
"Honestly, it's just been awesome enjoying what I usually don't get to do," Joe told the Sunday Herald Sun.
"I'm usually here for a week then away for 10, then back for two. So as much as I'd love to be playing it's been cool to put the kids to bed and give them a kiss every night, be up with them in the morning. The good, the bad, the easy, the hard, I've loved it all."
World Cup and Commonwealth Games gold medallist netballer Renae, who retired from the Melbourne Vixens last year, is lapping up this precious time.
"Milla gets up of a morning and says, 'Dad's still here!'
"We're not taking it for granted because we know once the season rolls around, we'll be craving family time. Joe and I feel like we've been in a honeymoon period for our 10-year relationship - we've been saying, 'Is this marriage?' because this is the longest we've spent together."
It's been five and a half weeks since COVID-19 became a reality for Joe when it sent a scare through his family and up-ended his Utah Jazz team. Teammates Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell both tested positive but have since recovered.
"We got to Oklahoma to play on March 12 and had a pretty normal schedule aside from staying away from people. Rudy and Emmanuel Mudiay were both out sick that game and went and got tested in OKC. They were literally about to throw the ball up to start the game and a man in a suit ran on to the court and told the refs to stop the game," Ingles said.
"Next thing we're in the locker room having a thing shoved up our nose, which feels like it touches the back of your head, all getting tested. We went back to the hotel and flew out the next morning. It was a pretty crazy experience.
"The worry, scare and nervousness for me was around Renae and the kids, not wanting to give it to her and especially not the kids.
"With Jacob's immune system, I was really nervous about getting my results and thankfully it came back negative. I got on the plane and just wanted to be with my family."
With the NBA season on hold, the days which followed felt like the off-season for the 32-year-old.
"The physical part was easy at the start, I had a few little niggles so it was good to rest the body. Now we have a full Jazz weights and cardio program, Renae goes down to our home gym in the morning, then I'll go down,'' he said.
"I've had days where I'm like, 'I'm not going to train today'. It's hard to motivate yourself when my training is with 15 guys, we all get together, and now I'm walking down to the gym in my house by myself.
"The mental side, I don't think about basketball too much because I'm with the family. We have calls and updates and get on Zoom with the team so you get into that mindset then."
Jacob was diagnosed with autism last year and requires 30 hours of intensive therapy a week, which is now on hold.
"We're not sure when that will return which is a little bit of a concern. We've been trying to keep them busy with craft, playing outside and keeping our routines because Jacob thrives on that, it's an important part of his therapy,'' Renae said.
"He's going to regress but we hope to keep it to a minimum. The most important thing is everyone is happy and healthy. He's come so far in the past 12 months, he's in a really good spot, we can chat to his therapist and we'll deal with the challenges as they come."
Joe and Renae were set to trek Kokoda this June to help raise money and awareness for 4 ASD Kids, but have postponed their trip to Papua New Guinea to 2021.
They've teamed up with Utah bakery Chip to create a special cookie for autism awareness month with proceeds to fund sensory spaces and inclusive community programs.
Originally published as Ingles reveals what happened on crazy night NBA was suspended