NBA star Jrue Holiday will take an indefinite leave of absence from the New Orleans’ Pelicans to care for his pregnant wife who is suffering a brain tumor, the Times-Picayune reports. The Pelicans starting point guard said wife Lauren Holiday was diagnosed with a benign, operable tumor on the right side of her brain. She's due to give birth in mid-October to a daughter, the couple’s first child. Jrue Holiday decided to sit out the Pelicans’ 2016-2017 season until further notice after getting the “devastating” diagnosis in June, after his wife suffered painful headaches. Doctors will wait to operate until six weeks after the birth, which may be induced early. Holiday said the tumor is pressing on a nerve causing numbness on the right side of his wife’s face. "Lauren has her good days and her bad days; some are better than others," Holiday told the Times-Picayune in an interview published Sunday. "She's obviously a fighter, the toughest woman I know. That's the reason why I married her."
After a stellar soccer career, Lauren Holiday, 28, retired last year to start a family. She is a two-time Olympic gold medalist with the US Women's National Team, and shared a FIFA World Cup title in 2015. The golden couple met at UCLA, where they were star athletes; they married in 2013. "My family comes before basketball," Jrue Holiday, 26, told the paper. "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." Jrue Holiday, whose three years with the Pelicans has been marked by injury, has the support of the team. "The most important thing for Jrue to do right now is be with his wife and family,” Coach Alvin Gentry said in a statement. "We'll continue to do everything we can to support them and help them get through these hard times.”