September 28, 2021

Michael Sweetney: Write Your Own Story

Michael Sweetney, (former NBA player & current Yeshiva Assistant Coach) details his journey through professional basketball, from the pressure he felt as a star player and student athlete at Georgetown to his experience with depression after the sudden, tragic loss of his father. He opens up about why he hated playing basketball at first, the grueling mind-body experience of being drafted, and the criticism he faced for removing himself from the NBA. Michael explains his backfired attempt to use basketball as an outlet following his father’s death, which resulted in a suicide attempt and how his family structure and faith motivated him to seek help. Mayim breaks down reasons the rate of depression is so much higher in professional athletes and the causes and dangers of professional masking. She and Michael discuss trying to balance work and grieving and ways the conversation about mental health around athletes has evolved over time. Mayim suggests ways to broach mental health topics with your family in another installment of Ask Mayim Anything.

Theme Song Written, Produced, and Performed by Ed Robertson. Mixed by Kenny Luong.
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Michael Sweetney

NBA Player, Mental Health Advocate

Mayim Bialik


Jonathan Cohen






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Guest References

Michael Sweetney's Involvement with New Horizon Counseling Center
New Horizon Counseling Center (NHCC) is a leading non-profit behavioral health organization licensed by the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH), and New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS). Our excellent reputation reflects 30 years of experience in meeting the needs of the communities we serve.
Michael Sweetney's Georgetown Legacy
A dominating power forward over his three years at the Hilltop, Mike Sweetney carried the Georgetown Hoyas on his shoulders during his final two seasons, establishing his legacy amidst some difficult years for the Blue and Gray.
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Michael Sweetney and the Yeshiva Maccabees
Michael Sweetney joined the Yeshiva University men's basketball team as an assistant coach in September of 2019. In addition to his role as assistant coach at Yeshiva University, Sweetney also serves as head coach of The Ramaz School girls varsity basketball team.
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What 7 Athletes Have Shared About Their Mental Health Journeys
Professional athletes of every sport are admired for their medals, astonishing performances and incredible talent. But athletes are real people with real-life challenges, and many have used their “celebrity” status to spread awareness about a topic much more important than sports.
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