NBA All-Star Kevin Love honored for mental health advocacy

Boston Kevin Love knows the euphoria of sinking a triple pointer right before the bell. But the five-time NBA star has had plenty of lows to offset those highs.

“There are days when I don’t want to get out of bed. That’s just the truth,” the Cleveland Cavaliers forward wrote in 2018 about his ongoing struggles with depression and low self-worth.

On Thursday, the Boston-based Ruderman Family Foundation honored Love with the Morton E.

“Time and again, Love has taken steps to eliminate stigma around mental health by sharing stories of his struggles with depression, anxiety and other challenges,” the foundation said in a statement. He also founded the Kevin Love Fund with the ambitious goal of helping more than a billion people over five years.

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Last year, his fund collaborated with the University of California, Los Angeles, and established the Kevin Love Fund Chair in the UCLA Department of Psychology to diagnose, prevent, treat, and destigmatize anxiety and depression.

Love, 33, won the NBA Championship with the Cavaliers in 2016 and was a member of the US gold-medal team at the 2010 FIBA ​​World Championships and 2012 London Olympics.

He has repeatedly taken steps to eliminate mental health stigma by sharing stories of his struggles with depression, anxiety, and other challenges. In a 2018 article in The Players’ Tribune, he revealed that he had been seeing a therapist for several months after a panic attack during a game earlier that year.

The struggle continues: In April, Low apologized for an on-court tantrum during a game against the Toronto Raptors.

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“When I first spoke about my psychological struggles, it changed my life,” Love said Thursday.

“Over the past few years, athletes around the world have shown us incredible courage by highlighting the mental health toll that comes with extreme stress. By doing so, they have helped start a cultural shift around mental health.”

Jay Ruderman, president of the Ruderman Family Foundation, said Love was chosen for its “essential role in removing the stigma around mental health and bringing this long-awaited conversation into the open.”

“He has served as a role model for countless people facing mental health challenges, who can now use his courage and determination as a guiding beacon,” Rodman said.

The award, now in its eighth year, is named after Morton E. Ruderman, founder of the Ruderman Family Foundation. Past winners have included Academy Award-nominated actor Taraji P. Henson, filmmakers Peter and Bobby Farrelly, Olympian Michael Phelps, Academy Award-winning actor Marley Matlin, and former U.S. senator and law architect for Americans with Disabilities Tom Harkin.

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