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Spurs’ DeRozan hosts Q&A on mental health amid COVID-19 pandemic: ‘Something none of us would have imagined’

DeMar DeRozan goes on NBA’s Instragram account to promote mental health amid the coronavirus pandemic

San Antonio Spurs' DeMar DeRozan (10) is defended by Los Angeles Clippers' Paul George (13) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Feb. 3, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
San Antonio Spurs' DeMar DeRozan (10) is defended by Los Angeles Clippers' Paul George (13) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Feb. 3, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu) (Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIO – Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan has been outspoken about mental health awareness, and he once again used his platform to help others who may be struggling at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

DeRozan hosted a question and answer session on the NBA’s official Instagram account on Sunday with Dr. Kensa Gunter, a licensed clinical psychologist based in Georgia.

“It’s something that none of us ever would have imagined,” DeRozan said. “(It’s) not just sports, across the whole world, everyone being locked down.”

Gunter advocated keeping a positive mindset and focusing on living in the moment because news is changing at a rapid pace.

Gunter said it’s important to be mindful of the amount of news we take in daily and recommended finding ways to spend some time at home alone to clear our heads. She said it’s also important to focus on the positive.

“What’s really crucial is for us to focus on the things we have, to be grateful for the things that have not changed,” said Gunter. “If you have a healthy family and loved ones, that’s a real positive thing right now.”

DeRozan said he has spent his time since the NBA suspended the season indefinitely doing a variety of things, including working out, working on puzzles and being a teacher to his two daughters.

The Spurs guard, like many Americans, said he is just trying to get through the days until a resemblance of normal life can resume.

Gunter reiterated social distancing does not mean isolation.

“We are physically distant, but we need to remain socially connected,” Gunter told DeRozan. “It’s really important to still find ways to socially connect and engage. It might even be old school and just picking up the phone. But really being mindful about being connected to people because that’s important.”

DeRozan echoed those sentiments. “We’ve got the greatest platform in history to be connected to everybody. We can all do it from our phone and not feel alone,” said DeRozan.

Still, DeRozan said he misses basketball and the pandemic has changed his outlook, but he remains optimistic.

“My hope is that everyone finds a new appreciation for life because we have seen the things we love can go away,” DeRozan said. “We’re going to get through this together and our appreciation for life will be at an all-time high.”

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