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Instead of becoming angry or withdrawn, the former first-round pick out of Cal plans to turn grief into action, relying on his faith to see him through.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 inthe process of starting something great for her with her family,includingmy family, too. We have a huge plan to do something great,great inher 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 hugeproblem. Andwe live in a society quite frankly now, and I wasn’t planning on sayingallthis but let’s be honest here.
“We live in a society now where you’ve got to live up tosomething, you’ve got to be a certain person and you’re not going to beaccepted and every single person, every single person has something specialabout them. That’s what I want to be my goal here. To have everybody here know that they’re notalone. Whatever you’re going through in life, you’re not alone. I don’t want toget into too much detail about her foundation, but it’s going to be somethinggreat 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 bevery, very hard to get through these steps if I didn’t have God and JesusChrist 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 beingback 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.