Jaylen Brown participated in a virtual roundtable on the NBA’s Twitter page earlier this evening to discuss the current effects on young people of color during the COVID-19 pandemic. He was joined by CEO of the Dallas Mavericks Cynt Marshall and sports psychologist Dr. Kensa Gunter. Hosted by former NBA player Caron Butler, the group discussed the hardships burdening the less fortunate with a strong focus on the mental health.
Brown is the NBPA Executive Committee Vice President after only four seasons in the league and he interviewed with poise and confidence.
“I was raised on a principle and idea that you can make a difference.”
On mental health:
“Mental health is extremely important, and I lost my best friend to suicide. Not only has mental affected our youth, but it has also affected society as a whole.”
Brown also touched on the educational needs of young people of color most affected by the pandemic. Brown discussed the lack of accessibility to not only education, but also the resources to attend virtual classrooms or be in control of their own learning. Brown, who is considered to be one of the most intelligent members of the NBA, is a voracious learner on and off the court and it’s clear this is a topic close to home for him.
Asked what he would say to the affected youth watching the show:
“Confidence is the key, and there’s nothing wrong with reaching out.”
Another aspect that lacks focus on the world’s day-to-day life is the impact of the youth having positive mentors. Brown, who is now operating in a mentor role for some Celtics rookies, was asked for his opinion on the importance of mentorship in the community:
“Mentorship is extremely important; it’s an opportunity to enrich and correct the gaps in our lifetimes.”
“Having mentors who can put you in the right direction, it’s been critical for me, and it’s critical for others.”
If you missed the NBA Together roundtable on Twitter, it will air for a second time on NBATV at 8:30 p.m. ET on Thursday.