As of Wednesday night, nearly 12 million people worldwide have contracted COVID-19, including Marcus Smart.
But the Boston Celtics guard isn’t done with the virus just yet.
Smart announced his diagnosis March 19, the week after the NBA suspended its 2019-20 season after Utah Jazz players Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Oklahoma City. The 26-year-old Smart was asymptomatic and medically cleared March 29, though more than 542,000 people across the globe haven’t been so lucky.
So, Smart did his part in helping stifle the virus by donating his plasma through the American Red Cross.
“You went in, they took the blood,” Smart said during a Zoom call Tuesday, via MassLive’s Tom Westerholm. “You see it: You got the blood going on end, the plasma going to the other, then they put the blood right back into your system. It was about an hour, hour 15 minutes little process. But it was harmless, it was painless and it was a great experience. I encourage everyone, if you have the antibodies, to go donate because, like I said, you don’t know whose life you might change or help with that.”
Researchers can study the antibodies in plasma donated by COVID-19 survivors like Smart, allowing them to better understand the virus. And Smart hopes other coronavirus survivors follow in his footsteps.
“It was a very humbling experience just to know that somewhere someone in this world is going to take my plasma and it could possibly help them and save their lives or give them a fighting chance,” Smart said. “That was unique in that part. I’m actually, if all things go (well) when we get back, I’m most likely going to go back again and donate some plasma again. That was a great experience to be a part of, but I feel great and I’m ready to rock and roll.”
Smart and the Celtics resume play July 31 against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images