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Former UTEP basketball star stuck in Italy during coronavirus lockdown

A woman walks in the almost deserted Central Station in Italy after the lockdown was imposed.
Emanuele Cremaschi/Getty Images via CNN
A woman walks in the almost deserted Central Station in Italy after the lockdown was imposed.

PISTOIA, Italy -- Italy announced a country-wide lockdown on Monday impacting more than 60 million people, among them is former UTEP star basketball player Randy Culpepper.

The country-wide lockdown comes after a total of 463 people have died so far from the Coronavirus in Italy.

ABC-7 got an exclusive interview with former UTEP basketball player Randy Culpepper who is one of the 60 million stuck in Italy.

Culpepper, who talked exclusively with ABC-7 by video chat, currently plays for a professional team in Italy, the Pistoia Baskets.

He said everything was normal throughout the day, but as nightfall arrived it became a ghost town in Pistoia.

A couple days before the lockdown, Culpepper's team played its most recent game with no fans in the stands.

To keep the players safe from the virus, Culpepper said the lockeroom has been cleaned and wiped down daily and it smells like bleach.

"As soon as we walked in the gym, they had the people waiting on us and the scanned us to make sure we didn't have a temperature," said Culpepper.

With little notice before the lockdown, Culpepper said he was running low on food, only Gaterade and chips for food, and will try to find an open store Tuesday.

With the death toll increasing, Culpepper said it's better to be safe than sorry.

"Health comes first, so I think it would be better if they cancel the season and try to let us find a way to go home," he said.

El Paso / Health / News / Texas Sports / Top Stories / UTEP / Video

Shelby Montgomery

Las Cruces native Shelby Montgomery is an ABC-7 reporter who also co-anchors Good Morning El Paso weekends.



  1. Anyone besides me think it’s hilarious that all these stories about Coronavirus travel restrictions or lockdowns on many sites have online ads for travel in the middle of them? Saw one yesterday about the cruise ship quarantine that had an ad for a cruise.

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