Michael Sweetney says it was only a few years after he was drafted as the No. 9 overall pick by the New York Nicks that depression completely derailed his career.
"It was a tough road. I mean, I struggled for like five or six years in silence," Sweetney said. "The only person that really knew was my wife. Nobody really knew and I ended up gaining weight, getting depressed and I lost my NBA career."
Sweetney said it was after he found out his wife was pregnant with their son that he finally got the help he needed.
He teamed with umttr, an organization formed to help teens and young adults sufferring from depression, for a celebrity charity basketball game Friday night to raise awareness about mental health.
"Now, I'm just trying to change that stigma to let people know it's okay that you're suffering. Let's get this help," Sweetney said.
Former Washington Wizards big man Etan Thomas and D.C. rapper and entertainer Fatz Da Big Fella coached the two teams that played at the University of the District of Columbia.
You can visit Umttr.org to donate to the organization.