Sports Spectrum Weekly

Jrue Holiday celebrates daughter's 1st birthday after 'scariest' year of his life

New Orleans Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday celebrated his daughter’s first birthday with an Instagram post. In the caption, he mentioned the past year being one of the toughest challenges he’s faced as a husband and father.

“My 🌎 is 1 year today!!! To think that last year was the scariest, most stressful time of my life and a year later My ❤️+ 🌎 are healthy and happy!! God is real, he is merciful, but most of all he is loving! He has blessed me with more than I could ever imagine. Happy Birthday Sweet girl!! Daddy Loves You!”

The smiles were replaced by fright last year as Holiday’s wife, Lauren Holiday, suffered a major health scare while she was pregnant.

“My wife was, I think, four or five months pregnant, and all of a sudden she found out she had a tumor,” Holiday said to ESPN. “Because she has another person in her, obviously there are things she couldn’t do for them to know what type of tumor it was or how serious it was.”

Holiday’s wife, formerly known as Lauren Cheney, an ex-United States women’s national team soccer player, had surgery last October to remove a benign tumor from her brain a month after their daughter was born.

Holiday tended to his wife for three months and missed 12 regular-season games before Lauren gave Jrue her blessing to return to the court.

“It was really just to see where my wife was in her recovery,” Holiday said to ESPN. “And since she’s doing so well, and since my daughter’s getting bigger, and since my family and her family are there to help her out with anything … I just feel comfortable being back and being able to leave them, if it’s on a road trip or whatever it is.”

In Holiday’s first game back, he scored 21 points and helped the Pelicans reel off four consecutive victories, after they started out 2-10 in his absence. The Pelicans would finish the season 34-48, missing the postseason.

In the offseason, Holiday signed a 5-year, $126 million deal to remain with the Pelicans. New Orleans opens preseason play against the Chicago Bulls on Oct. 3.