JaVale McGee 'heartbroken' to miss daughter swimming solo after lessons together

There are pros and cons to life inside the NBA bubble at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Los Angeles Lakers center JaVale McGee is detailing it on his YouTube vlog, from the disappointment of boxed food in the quarantine period to the fun of an off day spent learning to fish.

One of the biggest downsides for McGee, though is being away from his daughter.

McGee misses daughter’s swim lessons while away

McGee’s first vlog started with his family driving him to to the airport. He explains to his 3-year-old daughter, Genevieve, why she and her mom can’t join him at Disney.

In a diary entry for USA Today Sports, McGee said being away from her is difficult. And he laments missing some key moments in her young life already.

So everything is great besides not being able to (be with) my family. I’m trying to handle it the best I can. I Facetime my daughter every day. She just started swimming by herself. That is heartbreaking. I taught her how to swim her whole life. Then as soon as I leave, she decides to become Michael Phelps’ daughter.

It’s more difficult, his partner, Giselle Mybelle, said on the vlog, because they had just spent so much time as a family during quarantine. McGee said during a Lakers Zoom availability with reporters that the first thing he considered when joining the bubble was being away from his family.

Going virtual rather than in-person

Los Angeles Lakers center JaVale McGee lamented missing his daughter swimming while in the NBA bubble. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

McGee said he spoke with someone about missing their child’s first step and birthday. In sports, it’s highly likely fathers miss their children’s lives while away during the season. Via USA Today Sports:

There are certain moments like that I miss. I talked to somebody else about how they missed their child’s first step and their first birthday. There are certain moments in life that you take for granted, but you look back and you think, ‘I missed that’ and ‘I missed that.’ But it’s all technology now. So you have to Facetime people and call people instead of meeting up face-to-face and going to dinners. That’s probably the only difference from the real world and being here in the bubble.

But in ordinary times road trips aren’t usually months-long with zero ability to visit. NBA players have a world of activities at their finger tips while at Disney, even given the pandemic and COVID-19 protocols, but it doesn’t take the place of missed family moments.

McGee is on the quest for a championship. The Lakers restart their season against the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night.

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