Latest posts by Ashish Mathur (see all)
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Jahlil Okafor signed a two-year deal with the New Orleans Pelicans this summer and the former No. 3 overall pick has completely changed his body.
Okafor took to Instagram on Friday to show off a new, noticeably toned physique, while opening up about his mental health struggles:
My summer of transformation: First off I want to thank @idanwan & @dzandertraining for getting after it with me the moment my season ended. Grateful to have two of the best in their respective fields work with me all summer. Although the physical changes in this photo are evident, their has been extreme growth unbenounced to the eye. I’ve learned how to identify and manage different stressors such as anxiety. Learning how to identify certain stressors has also allowed me to over come them. Often times because of my size and profession people may view me in a certain way, but in reality I deal with the same struggles as countless others. Mental health awareness is a cause I will fight for the rest of my life and if you’re struggling today don’t be afraid to speak with someone and seek help. I would like to thank @kevinlove and the @playerstribune for helping me identify my feelings and informing me what I was dealing with was in fact normal. 6 weeks left in the off season; with a lot more work to do!
This past season, Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love and San Antonio Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan opened up about their struggles with mental health and how more awareness needs to be brought to the subject.
Love and DeRozan’s bravery in talking about their illness started a movement, as shortly after the two All-Stars spoke about their individual struggles, Washington Wizards swingman Kelly Oubre shared his own battles with mental health.
Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams also revealed how he had to overcome bouts of depression on his long and winding path to the NBA in his autobiography which was published this offseason.
Okafor thanked Love for helping him identify his issues.
“I would like to thank Kevin Love for helping me identify my feelings and informing me what I was dealing with was in fact normal,” Okafor wrote.
Just $50,000 of Okafor’s two-year contract with the Pelicans is guaranteed. Okafor’s deal has a partial guarantee in the first year and a team option for year two.