Hoops Star Praises God Despite Tragedy

Ryan Anderson, a forward with the New Orleans Pelicans suffered a tragedy in August that has certainly been a difficult burden to bear. His girlfriend, Gia Allemand, committed suicide and, despite Anderson's attempts to save her, she died a day later on August 14.

Instead of becoming angry or withdrawn, the former first-round pick out of Cal plans to turn grief into action, relying on his faith to see him through. Anderson took time Monday to briefly discuss his hope to help other's struggling with similar issues as Allemand, tearfully saying:

"A lot of people are going to be helped from this. And ... we're in the process of starting something great for her with her family, including my family, too. We have a huge plan to do something great, great in her name that's doing to help a lot of people. Already a lot of people ... and this is a topic that is not talked about enough, it is a huge problem. And we live in a society quite frankly now, and I wasn't planning on saying all this but let's be honest here.

"We live in a society now where you've got to live up to something, you've got to be a certain person and you're not going to be accepted and every single person, every single person has something special about them. That's what I want to be my goal here. To have everybody here know that they're not alone. Whatever you're going through in life, you're not alone. I don't want to get into too much detail about her foundation, but it's going to be something great to prove that, to show people that they're not alone."

Such a difficult circumstance and such a strong response is not easy, but Anderson cited teammates, and, more importantly, his faith as what will keep him going.

"I praise God every day to have Him in my life," said the grief-stricken forward. "It would be very, very hard to get through these steps if I didn't have God and Jesus Christ in my life. I'm really glad coach asked me to come back when he did. I've been here for a few weeks now and just being around the guys and being back in the gym, having some sort of routine back, it helps a little bit."

Anderson will continue to be a big part of the new look Pelicans. In his fifth year in the league last season, he averaged 16.2 points and 6.4 rebounds per game last season.


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