The 6′ 8″ Center and Power Forward player has been very vocal about promoting mental health. In fact, he’s written a personal essay about experiencing a panic attack during a 2017 NBA match against the Atlanta Hawks.
The essay was titled Everyone Is Going Through Something. An excerpt of his 2018 piece reads:
I’ve never been comfortable sharing much about myself. I turned 29 in September and for pretty much 29 years of my life I have been protective about anything and everything in my inner life. I was comfortable talking about basketball — but that came natural. It was much harder to share personal stuff, and looking back now I know I could have really benefited from having someone to talk to over the years. But I didn’t share — not to my family, not to my best friends, not in public.
Since then, he has been an instrument of encouragement outside the basketball courts and arenas. He has worked to help take down the stigma about mental health issues. In fact, he has created a non-profit organization for mental health awareness called the Kevin Love Foundation.
This Sunday, 2020 ESPY Awards is set to transpire, and this year, Love will be honored with an award named after the American tennis player Arthur Ashe.
This award dates back in 1993 (after Ashe’s death), with American basketball college coach Jim Valvano receiving the very first courage title and with Boston Celtics alum Bill Russell receiving it last year. This award is honored to the people within the sports community whose “contributions transcends sports.”
According to ESPN, the recipients of this award “reflect the spirit of Arthur Ashe, possessing strength in the face of adversity, courage in the face of peril and the willingness to stand up for their beliefs no matter what the cost”—just as how Ashe lived his life.
With what Love has done—encouraging the youth to speak out about suffering from mental health issues—the sports committee warrants the Cavs player worthy of the award.
In an interview with ESPN, Love expressed how he is “incredibly humbled” by the award.
Meanwhile, Love and Kevin Porter Jr. are being eyed as the key Cavs duo to watch out for in the NBA 2020-21 season.
Porter is predicted to be the “future of the young core” for the Cavs, after making a big impact during his rookie season—averaging 10.0 points per game.
Porter’s strong stats plus Love’s “powerful and positive” personality, will likely be the mash-up the Cavs need to get the upper hand next season.
Avid followers of Love are hoping for a better season for the Cavs in 2020-21, after being opted out of the upcoming NBA Disney return post-COVID-19. Critics are weighing in that Love will still be part of the Cavs’ rosters despite his “moments of childish behavior” this season.
Featured image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
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