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NBA Star Kevin Love Opens Up About His Struggle with Anxiety

May 19, 2023

“I think for me growing up in Portland, Oregon, it was the anxiety to perform, to fit in, also the pressure I put on myself, the pressure really from coaches, parents, maybe even the community, that was very high . . . I come from a family where my father had played in the NBA, so I think everybody expected a lot from me, a lot from my teams, a lot from my coaches.”
Kevin Love

For May Mental Health Awareness Month, Wyatt, a 16-year-old student athlete from New York, interviews NBA great Kevin Love about his experiences with anxiety. Kevin talks about the pressures he felt as a high school student athlete, and how badly he just wanted to fit in. He was determined to succeed, feeling the heat from his parents, coaches, and community. Kevin admits to suffering in silence and often feeling like an imposter, but also shares how finally speaking up about his anxiety changed his life for the better. Kevin Love offers advice to young athletes dealing with anxiety, stressing the importance of trusting the process and appreciating the small successes and failures along the way.

About the You Got This Campaign

Battling mental health issues can sometimes feel isolating and overwhelming. The You Got This campaign strives to assure you that you’re never alone. Celebrities and influencers share their stories and provide tips on how they got through the hardships of both their past and present, reinforcing the empowering message that while things may be hard now, #YouGotThis.

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About Kevin Love

Kevin Love is an American professional basketball player for the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is a five-time All-Star and a two-time member of the All-NBA Second Team and won an NBA championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016. He was also a member of the gold medal-winning United States national team at the 2010 FIBA World Championship and the 2012 Summer Olympics. In 2011, Love won the NBA Most Improved Player Award and led the league in rebounding.

The son of former NBA player Stan Love, Love was a top-ranked prospect out of Lake Oswego High School in Oregon. He played one season of college basketball for the UCLA Bruins and led the team to a Final Four appearance in the 2008 NCAA Tournament. Love was named a consensus First Team All-American and was voted player of the year in the Pac-12 Conference. He elected to forgo his remaining three years of college eligibility and entered the 2008 NBA draft. He was taken fifth overall by the Memphis Grizzlies, and was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves on draft night for the third overall selection, O. J. Mayo, in an eight-player deal. During the 2010–11 season, Love established the longest streak for consecutive games recording double figures in points and rebounds since the ABA–NBA merger. He was traded to the Cavaliers in 2014. After making four straight NBA Finals with the team and winning a ring, Love suffered multiple injuries from 2018 to 2021. He slotted into a reserve role in 2021–22 and finished as runner-up for the Sixth Man of the Year award. However, reduced playing time the following season led Love to reach a contract buyout agreement with the Cavaliers. After nine seasons with Cleveland, he joined Miami in February 2023.

Learn More

Managing mental health struggles can be hard. Here are some related resources that can help:
Tagged with: #YouGotThis, Mental Health, Sports, Mental Health Awareness Month