Breaking Silence: Former NBA Player Keyon Dooling Is Speaking Up About Sexual Abuse

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Keyon Dooling spent 13 years in the NBA contributing his talents to the Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, New Jersey Nets, Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic, and Memphis Grizzlies, demonstrating a longevity the majority of players aren’t lucky to have. But for almost twice that time, the 34-year-old Fort Lauderdale, Florida native was hiding something that plagued his life since his childhood.

In 2012, while expected to start a new season with the Boston Celtics, Dooling found himself in a psychiatric hospital dealing with post traumatic stress disorder from being sexually abused by an older boy in his neighborhood when Dooling was around only seven or eight years old. He had stayed silent about the abuse until he was 32 years old, and it appeared the effects would end his career for good.

Dooling returned briefly to play several games with the Grizzlies at the end of the 2012-13 season, but then retired, turning his focus to beating the impact of his own sexual abuse and helping other victims. In 2013 he founded the Respect Foundation to provide support and resources for victims of sexual abuse and last month he released a book titled What’s Driving You???in which he details the story of his abuse and how it affected his life and relationships going forward.

I sat down and spoke with Dooling as he shed some light on his own abuse, the challenges he and others affected by sexual abuse face, and shared his advice for ameliorating the issue. We also talked a little basketball as well. Check out the exclusive interview after the jump.

Part 1

 

Part 2

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