Black #Disability History: Metta World Peace, Professional Basketball Player

Metta World Peace (born Ronald Artest, Jr. on Nov. 13, 1979 – )

“I’m still learning about myself. This actually helps me in telling my story so I can continuously improve myself, stay mentally stronger and not let stuff bother me as much as it used to when I was younger. I still make mistakes.”

Image: Metta World Peace in Lakers Uniform from 2015

Image: Metta World Peace in purple and gold Lakers Uniform, number 37 from 2015

World Peace is a professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers and one of the NBA’s best defenders. In college (1997-1999) He played basketball for St. John’s University (1997-1999) and got a degree in mathematics.

World Peace’s professional career has included playing for:

    • Chicago Bulls (1999–2002)
    • Indiana Pacers (2002–2006)
    • Sacramento Kings (2006–2008)
    • Houston Rockets (2008–2009)
    • Los Angeles Lakers (2009–2013) – this is his first trip to the NBA finals.  The Lakers win and World Peace gets his first championship ring.
    • New York Knicks (2013–2014)

In 2014, he left the United States to play with China’s Sichuan Blue Whales. A year later, he contracted Pallacanestro Cantù of Italy.  However, in September 2015, World Peace returned to the Los Angeles Lakers.

World Peace has received counseling for anger, marriage and parenting issues. He matter-of-factly said he has few friends because many of them, family members included, are either in jail or are dead. Though he hasn’t revealed a specific diagnosis, he has testified before Congress about mental health awareness and talks about the subject at schools. He supported the Mental Health in Schools Act, which would raise $200 million in grant funding to 200 schools and has appeared in various public service announcements and billboards on behalf of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.

“We have a big problem right here in America with mental health, from little boys not understanding what it takes to be a good dad or be a good older brother or a role model — to violence.” He even auctioned off his 2010 NBA ring for $651,006 to benefit mental health charities.

You can read about Metta World Peace here (although they leave out his mental illness): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metta_World_Peace

You can learn more about Metta World Peace’s Mental Health advocacy here: http://articles.latimes.com/2012/aug/01/sports/la-sp-ln-la-metta-world-peaces-mental-health-advocacy-helps-his-own-growth-20120801

 

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