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Former Mercer basketball star Keke Calloway's pro career on pause due to COVID-19 concerns

Keke Calloway took her talents overseas to start her pro basketball career, but now she's back in the United States after COVID-19 cut the season short.

MACON, Ga. — One of the last times Keke Calloway was in Macon, she was hoisting a conference championship trophy for Mercer women's basketball. After she graduated, the Bear signed with an agent and headed overseas to start her pro career in Europe.

"Some people don't even know where they're going to be playing until late August or September, but I was blessed to be able to know where I was playing right away so that gave me time to prepare over the summer," Calloway said.

Since then Calloway has played for two squads, one in Poland in the fall and another in Finland she joined in January. The season came to quick halt once the coronavirus hit Europe and Finland began shutting things down.

Calloway said it started with just a few students and a teacher so the country moved to shut school down, but after seeing other countries begin to quarantine and leagues like the NBA postpone their seasons, Finland called for precautions as well.

"We got word Friday that the season was cancelled so I had to find a flight back home or find a way to get back home. I got back home Tuesday so it's just been a bunch of craziness, madness," Calloway said.

Calloway is originally from Forsyth and a Mary Persons graduate. She had plans to return home, but those quickly became plans to protect her family instead.

"When you're younger and you're healthier sometimes the onset of the symptoms can be up to 10 days I heard, so I just want to be cautious and not expose my elderly grandmother or my younger cousins to the virus possibly," Calloway said.

For now, she'll stay in Atlanta. While at Mercer, it wasn't uncommon to find Calloway getting shots up in Hawkins Arena at any time of the day. Now, she'll be working on her jumper any way she can as she figures out her next steps.

"Just trying to do workouts outside, because the gyms and things are closed so just trying to stay in shape the best way I can and just continue to take the cautionary actions to make sure I'm healthy and those around me are healthy as well," Calloway said.

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