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DETROIT, MI - JANUARY 24: Derrick Rose #25 of the Detroit Pistons controls the ball against the Memphis Grizzlies in the first half of an NBA game at Little Caesars Arena on January 24, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan.

Derrick Rose Opens Up About Mental Health During Panel Discussion At University of Illinois-Chicago Event

Pistons’ guard Derrick Rose received a rousing ovation that included “M-V-P!” chants as he took the stage inside Dorin Forum at the University of Illinois-Chicago for a panel discussion regarding mental health Thursday. Prior to NBA All-Star Weekend, the Chicago-native had been vocal about opening up a dialogue centered around mental health within Latino American and African American communities.

Rose initially spoke about his childhood in Chicago and paranoia that stemmed from being brought up in a tough neighborhood.

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“When I was younger, we used to have a lot of things that used to happen in my house and on my block to where I kind of got PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) in a way. I’ll be downstairs in the basement doing something and I’d hear somebody playing upstairs and I’d run up there thinking somebody was bursting in our house about to attack my cousin … this girl,” Rose described. “She used to beat up everybody in the neighborhood, like she would beat up somebody and I would think they were coming back for revenge. So any little bumps or sounds in the house, I’m scared, or at night I would hear something and get scared because I was thinking that these people came back.”

Rose, who was scheduled to appear in the NBA Skills Challenge but backed out after suffering an abductor stain, discussed life in Chicago’s South Side, mental health and the time he nearly left the NBA after battling injuries following his trade from New York to Cleveland. He also hosted a signing for his new book “I’ll Show You” which he worked on with Bulls’ reporter Sam Smith.

“I wanted to be around my son, my kids. I know it sounds crazy,” Rose said. “I wanted to feel the cold weather and to be a part of that in a way where I’m not involved in none of it but people will feel my presence here, so that’s what it’s about. I’m enjoying the city — [the activities are] all propaganda. Don’t get me wrong, for everybody that’s being a part of events, that’s a great honor and achievement and great accolades, but in the grand scheme of things, all of this is propaganda. It’s man-made, so me knowing that, I feel like I have a better understanding of what I want out of certain things in life and who I’m becoming to give and spread that the way that I want to.”

Detroit Lions’ linebacker Christian Jones and others joined Rose on #TheRightConversation panel hosted by the non-profit organization Everyone Has a Story (EHAS) which was founded by Pistons development coach JD DuBois. Rose exited the event after revealing what advice he would give to his 16-year-old self.

“I would say, ‘Watch what you pray for,’ because when I was younger, my goals used to be crazy, but at the same time, the older I got, I wasn’t ready for it,” Rose said. “I knew I wasn’t ready for a goal like that. I wasn’t ready for a championship. I knew I wasn’t ready because I used to say to myself numerous times like when I go out in public now, I can barely go places. So, what happened if I did win a championship? How would that be? How would I be boxed in even more? How would I live and have to move around? I hate living with boundaries. It kills me when I go on vacation and I just know people are chilling there as a dentist or somebody with a regular job. They’re able to live the life to just walk around freely, and I’m jealous of that, because deep down I want that, but I can’t have it, so be careful for what you pray for because you’ll never know how it’ll turn out.”

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Written by Frank DeLorenzo

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