A Basketball Star off the Court

Scoring with generosity off the basketball court.

Paul George playing for Team USA at the Olympic Games.

(Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock.com)

This man is a star on and off the basketball court. A recent act of kindness by Paul George, a basketball player from the Los Angeles Clippers, shows how one basketball superstar shoots high to help his fans.

George is partnering with BetterHealth to offer free therapy. His goal is to destigmatize mental health, as well as inspire others to seek out therapy, reported Basketball News. George’s honesty and openness, along with his fame, may encourage more men to get the help they need.

Mental health is an issue that should be discussed openly, especially with 40 million Americans experiencing anxiety disorder per year, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. If these feelings do not go away, it becomes debilitating, interfering with everyday life.

Accomplished athlete
George is an accomplished Olympic gold medalist, a seven-time NBA All-Star, and six-time All-NBA selection, according to Basketball News. However, during the pandemic, when he was in the 2020 NBA Bubble in Orlando Florida, he suffered from an end-of-season loss, reported People.

When fans shamed him online, he took it hard. “When I had that moment, of saying like, ‘Hey, I'm not okay right now, there's stuff going on and I don't know how to address it, I don't know how to figure this out,’” George told People. 

George sought help. After he left the bubble and was finally able to talk about these times in public, he called it his “coming out party,” according to People. 

Aside from going public in order to encourage others to seek help, he is donating 3 million dollars to BetterHealth. With over 25,000 licensed mental health therapists, this organization’s therapy platform is the largest online. George’s contribution is for first-time users.

Speaking out openly
George hopes his openness and his donation will help fans, especially those in the African American community. Speaking openly about mental health has always been a stigma in this community.

“We're so taught to keep our emotions in and work through them ourselves, that you think you're weak if you need help.”

George wants others to know that it is okay to have such struggles, thoughts, and feelings, as well as value self care. “Everyone does, it's just about working your way through it. For a lot of things, it's just hearing yourself talk about it,” he said.

He now feels that he now knows himself well, according to Basketball News, so that he can be a better person, as well as a better family man and player.

This new strength offers George the impetus to spread the word in hope that others in need will seek therapy. And now that his donation is offering free online therapy, help is on the way for many more.  

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