A few weeks ago, I found out that I was nominated for the ‘Most Courageous Award’ presented by the United States Basketball Writer’s Association (USBWA). I thought that this blog post may help get my feelings out to all of you.
First off, it has been an incredibly fun few years playing basketball. The coolest part of it has been meeting, and building relationships with all of you. There were times when I didn’t always believe in myself, yet you guys never gave up on me. All of your texts, comments, e-mails, and phone calls encouraged me to always keep going. I will forever be in debt for the love and support that I have received over the past few years. The game of basketball has changed my life. But that’s the punchline.. it’s a just a game.
I’ve always believed that we are supposed to use our talents to impact others. My purpose on this earth isn’t to play basketball, but if I can use basketball as a platform to impact others, sign me up. And that’s exactly what I did. My battle with PTSD has had a major impact on a lot of people. I’ve received hundreds of e-mails, and have traveled to a countless number of schools/conferences telling my story. It has opened up my eyes to the prevalence of mental illness. Here’s what I know: You are loved, you’re important, and you have a purpose. I understand that life can be hard. I understand that it gets lonely. But I also know that you’re worth it. You’re worth getting help. You’re worth seeking a counselor for. My plea to all of you is that if you know you need help, please get it. Call a friend. Text your family. But please, please don’t hold it in. There are people who love you, care about you, and want to help you get through this. The stigma with mental illness is very real. It has power. My promise to all of you is that I will do my very best for the rest of my life to erase this stigma.. To make it easier for all of us to admit that we have something wrong with our brain. You are not alone.
So, my thoughts on the award: I’m honored. I’m thrilled. But the impact that I have on others will forever trump any award that I win. If you’d like to read the official article, here it is. (<click it)
Jesus saved my life. And He can do the same for all of you.
All my love,