Celtics guard Keyon Dooling reacts after making a play against the Miami… (Mike Eh )
Keyon Dooling, who began his career with the Clippers and became a coveted backup guard in the NBA, retired last week at 32 after he was cut by the Boston Celtics. Many thought it was too soon, that he had more big shots and highlight moments left.
The father of four admitted in an interview that he'd been abused while growing up, by strangers and friends. He decided it was time to turn his attention to family matters and personal healing.
"To be honest with you, I blocked a lot of things out of my life," Dooling told Jessica Camerato of CSNNE.com. "I’m a man who’s been abused, sexually, emotionally, mentally. I’ve been abused in my life, and there’s so many guys around the NBA who have been abused and I know it because I’ve been their therapist. I didn’t even have the courage because I blocked it out so much that I couldn’t even share that....
“It took literally a meltdown for everybody to see how serious I was about not playing ball anymore."
Dooling was the 10th overall selection in the 2000 draft. He played four seasons with the Clippers before venturing on to Miami, Orlando, New Jersey, Milwaukee and Boston. A long-range shooting specialist, he made 41.5% of his shots from the field, including 35% from three-point range.
For his 12-year career, Dooling averaged 7.0 points, 2.2 assists and 1.2 rebounds in 19.5 minutes a game. He made 80% of his free throws.
“The average [NBA] career is 4 1/2 years and I tripled that, almost,” Dooling told Camerato. “The grind of the NBA just has taken its toll on me, on my body. More so than that, my family ... I’ve missed birthdays, school conferences, dropping my kids off, school plays, school dances. I’ve missed just being daddy so much.
"I have enough. I have all the resources I need, I’m a blessed man. I’m not limping away; I was able to walk away."
Keyon Dooling also walks away a man with the proper perspective.
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