Behind the Mind
Episode 13 with Former NBA Forward Michael Sweetney
On Episode 13 of Behind the Mind, I chatted with former NBA power forward Michael Sweetney. We had an awesome talk about his inspiring mental health journey, the NBA’s mission to improve league-wide mental health, and the work he’s doing to contribute to and raise awareness for the issue. There is also some awesome basketball talk in there for all the sports fans. Description below:
In a draft that featured LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh, Georgetown power forward Michael Sweetney was selected 9th overall by the New York Knicks. Sweetney was highly talented. He was an inside scoring machine and a rebound magnet who averaged 22 points and 10 boards in his final year with Georgetown.
Michael was a popular face in New York that summer. He was on a billboard in Times Square and every Knicks fan was excited to see what he would bring to the franchise. Unfortunately, his father tragically passed away from a heart attack prior to the start of his rookie season. This sent Michael in a downward spiral of depression that stunted his development in the NBA. His suffering led him to attempt suicide during the season.
His four-year career in the NBA was shorter than expected, but his flashes of talent were shown on many occasions. Michael eventually received enough help to maintain a career overseas and in the G-League. He is now a basketball coach at Yeshiva University. He says he has never been happier and is at peace with his life.