RollinOut Magazine Exclusive: Spyda, formerly of AND1, talks mental illness and giving back: Earlier this week, rolling out had the opportunity to catch up with superstar basketball player Spyda, formerly of AND1.
As many of you know, in 2012, Dennis “Spyda” Chism walked away from his passion … AND1 Live Streetball and the many companies and brands in which he helped build, but what many of you don’t know is what happened next.
While many athletes would have spun their fame into a reality show or becoming just another name on a promoter’s ballot, Spyda chose to use his newfound freedom to give back. Check out why and what he had to say about his new organization, Spyda’s World below. – ruthie hawkins/@ruubabie
What inspired you to start Spyda’s World and work with young people struggling with a mental illness?
When I left AND1 Live in 2012, it was a huge transition and I suffered from some pretty serious depression. I felt like I couldn’t trust anyone and began to have thoughts I never would have to begin with. Your mind will have you thinking all kinds of crazy things.
If it weren’t for my manager making sure I made it to therapy, my love for the game and knowing that God had a different plan for me, I probably would have gone down a completely different path. I chose to work with kids, because they can get you through anything. They get your spirits up.
What do you hope to achieve with your platform?
Right now, I plan to continue with my summer camps and working with kids. I have a camp coming up in Mississippi in July. I have a lot of things going on; including my children’s camps, filming a documentary on my life, and now Africa wants me to come over and build a academy in my honor.
But at the end of the day, I would like to open five mental health facilities: one in Atlanta, California, two places in the Midwest and then one facility up North. I feel like as far as Atlanta, that is all they are missing. They have plenty of programs to get involved, but not a center where athletes and other individuals can actually go to seek help.
Can you tell us a little bit about your documentary?