Delta native Johnny Kane becomes small part of the NBA's COVID-19 story

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TOLEDO (WTVG) - Johnny Kane is a familiar face to viewers of FOX Sports Detroit during broadcasts of the Detroit Pistons and Detroit Tigers.

Kane is a native of Delta, Ohio and reporter for FOX Sports Detroit. He suddenly because a small part of the NBA's COVID-19 story days after the league suspended its season. Detroit's Christian Wood tested positive for COVID-19 and Kane came in contact with Wood as part of a routine interview.

The NBA put its season on hold March 11, 2020 while Kane and the Pistons were on the road for a game in Philadelphia.

"Things were happening very quickly," Kane said about the night of March 11. "Naturally you've probably been in this situation where you get a lot of reporters around in a room and everyone is cycling through their social media platforms or whatever they're hearing.

"You're trying to come to grips with, 'Wait a minute, so (Rudy) Gobert is positive. Wait, now the season is suspended. Wait, we haven't talked to coach yet.' Coach comes in, I ask him, 'What's your reaction?' He's processing in real time - he had just found out, hadn't even addressed his players about it. It was just one of those moments I think you'll look back on obviously with the benefit of hindsight years from now and say that was a moment that we certainly hope we don't have a peak but it was unpredictable.

Because Kane came in contact with Wood, he had an opportunity through the Detroit Pistons to take a COVID-19 test. He declined.

"I didn't necessarily need the test for peace of mind one way or another," Kane said. "If I was going to be self-quarantined for two weeks and act as though I did have it, I was asymptomatic and certainly we know that people don't necessarily show symptoms that may be carriers. But I knew if I was quarantining at home and not going to be in contact with anybody else, I wanted to leave that test available for somebody that may have needed it. I didn't feel as though I had contracted it but I was acting as though I did have it. Now if I would have started to show signs, we had direct communication line with the team."

The night before the Utah Jazz played the Pistons at Little Caesars Arena on March 7, Kane was at Tony Packo's on Front Street for his dad Merrill's surprise 75th birthday party. It was a party with many friends and family members, but also older family members which fall in the susceptible COVID-19 demographics.

"I was exposed for lack of a better term to a player who would end up testing positive for Cornavirus," Kane said. "Had the timing been different, certainly things could have been different. It shows you how things can change. I haven't hugged my dad since then, my mom or my brother and sisters. We're going on a month."



 
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