Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters often appears to be the most confident player on the court. Off the court, however, there was a time when he struggled emotionally following surgery to repair his left ankle.
The injury took him away basketball for an entire year. Even after he returned to the court in January, he struggled to get his form back.
In an interview with Local 10, Waiters spoke about going through depression and how his struggles can help others recover from their own personal issues.
“We have anxiety, we have depression. We have you know all types of things, and we’re better every day,” Waiters said. “If I can share my story with some people, because there might be someone out there who’s down and out or, you know, just somewhere low in life right now that might need a spark, hopefully my story will help that.”
Though Waiters worked to get his ankle right, the rest of his body wasn’t fit for the NBA grind. Many hurled insults at the 6-foot-4, 215-pound shooting guard and the abuse took its toll on his emotional well-being.
“I was in surgery for seven hours, so it was like a brand-new ankle and I was off my feet for like nine months,” Waiters said. “So it was tough, man. It was tough.”
But Waiters ultimately got his groove back during the latter part of last season. Though he only averaged 12.0 points per game for the season, his last 10 games were very promising. During that final 10-game stretch, he averaged 19.1 points on 40.6 percent shooting from 3-point range. He also dropped more than 20 points four times.
This offseason, Waiters looks more than ready for the upcoming 2019-20 regular season. He recently posted before-and-after photos on his Instagram account, showing how much weight he has lost so far.
With Waiters now in better shape, don’t be surprised to see a more determined player who is out to prove his doubters wrong.