Jahlil Okafor Reveals Transformed Body, Discusses Mental Health Awareness

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistAugust 17, 2018

FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2018, file photo, Brooklyn Nets center Jahlil Okafor (4) looks to pass during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the  Toronto Raptors in New York. A person familiar with the situation says free-agent center Jahlil Okafor has agreed to join the New Orleans Pelicans. The person spoke to the The Associated Press Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018, on condition of anonymity because the agreement has not been announced.  (AP Photo/Adam Hunger, File)
Adam Hunger/Associated Press

As Jahlil Okafor prepares for a fresh start with the New Orleans Pelicans, he is opening up about the struggles—both mentally and physically—he has dealt with through the years.

On Friday, the 22-year-old center took to Instagram to give fans a glimpse of everything he has been through:

"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!"

The article he is referencing was a Players' Tribune piece written by Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love in March. In it, Love revealed he had dealt with a panic attack during an NBA game in November and wound seeking therapy to help his mental health.

While it may not have been an easy subject to speak publicly about, Love felt it was important to give a voice to mental health awareness. He would wind up helping a fellow NBA player going through something similar. 

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