New Orleans Pelican guard Jrue Holiday is going on hiatus from playing basketball to take care of his ailing wife, retired professional soccer player Lauren Holiday.
Jrue will miss an undetermined amount of time from the 2016-17 season as Lauren undergoes brain surgery to remove a benign tumor.
“My family comes before basketball,” he said on Sunday in an interview with the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “I’m obviously blessed to play this game and be in the position I am in, but my wife is the most important thing in the world to me. She comes before anything else.”
The time off will also allow him to focus on the arrival of their first child together. Lauren is currently eight months pregnant.
He added that team management has been supportive of his decision. “The Pelicans have been great,” he said. “There wasn’t any pressure to be with the team or to choose between my team and my wife. They told me to be a husband first. I don’t think they know how much their support means to me and my family.”
The Holidays received the diagnosis that Lauren had a benign tumor on the right side of her brain when she was six months into her pregnancy, according to Nola.com. The tumor is operable and will not affect the health of the unborn child.
She has a “mid-October” due date, but the couple hopes to induce birth to speed the procedure along, reports Nola.com. Surgeons plan to remove the brain tumor six weeks after she gives birth, according to the report.
Lauren is a two-time Olympic gold medalist who had an endorsement deal with Under Armour when she was active with FC Kansas City.