HoopsHype Keyon Dooling rumors

January 27, 2013 Updates
January 15, 2013 Updates

REPORTER: "Who has been the most vocal leader when you talk about you guys getting your swagger back?" RONDO: "Besides myself? Keyon Dooling has actually helped. He's been in the locker room, helping guys out. His personality, I think it started with him, and I just try to play my songs in here. They're so hot. I will let you guys listen to them yet, but a couple of my tracks at play in the year just to get the guys going before the game." YouTube

December 7, 2012 Updates

Yet there is no desire to return to Fort Lauderdale to offer any testimony other than that he plans to offer in counseling youth. "I mean, for me," he says, "I spoke about the gentlemen who touched me. I knew his first name. I don't even know his last name. For me, that's not my particular battle because of the statute of limitations and where I am in my life. That's not what I want to do. I don't want to fight that battle with that person. That's not where I would get the satisfaction. "Where I would get the satisfaction is preventatively, putting together something to help youth, and also when it happens to people, giving them an outlet or a resource to go to." South Florida Sun-Sentinel

December 2, 2012 Updates

He lost his father, then had family and friends asking him for money even while he was grieving at the funeral. He wanted to retire from basketball, but nobody in the family he supported would support his decision. He lost a child in the womb. And then there was all that sexual abuse he endured and kept hidden for so long — hidden from his wife, from his mother, even from himself when you consider how unaddressed it had been until he arrived broken and scared recently at a psychiatric ward. “You’d be amazed at what you can block out of your mind,” Dooling says now. “As an athlete, you block out pain and noise to create focus. If I had addressed my sexual abuse earlier, I don’t know if I could have reached my potential. The pain and hurt were so deep that it was almost shattering to deal with. Meltdown might be an understatement for what I had. Some people might call it a midlife crisis or losing your mind.” Miami Herald

He located the roots of his repressed pain in his childhood, and dealing with emotions, addressing them instead of pushing them down, cracked him open. You don’t find a lot of feelings in the locker room. Pain? Tape it up or inject it and keep on running. The only emotion he’d ever had about his sexual abuse was unaddressed anger, and the professional in him kept that hidden behind the smile. “Post-traumatic syndrome,” he says now. “When you are playing, you never had time to breathe or deal with or accept. It kind of overwhelmed me. Shell-shocked me. All these memories/feelings/emotions that I had been compressing, keeping down, blocking out. I was able to face all those things I had been running from my whole life. I’m happy this happened to me so I can help others.” Miami Herald

“It is weird, man,” he says. “Some people who hide sexual abuse get tormented by it. They know it, and they deny it. I couldn’t feel the emotion, but I could feel the effects because of my pattern of behavior. Some of the anger issues I had, especially at a young age, led me to start drinking early and smoking early and having sex early. It wasn’t until I got involved with sports that it was an outlet for me to get that negative energy out. I don’t know how I got myself in that situation. I’ve asked myself all these questions. “When it happens young, you blame yourself. I’m getting out of that. There is nothing I could have prevented. What I can do is raise awareness and be preventative.” Miami Herald

November 12, 2012 Updates

Dooling is safe now, because he was able to finally face down demons he'd kept buried throughout his adult life. He is safe because of a rock-solid wife, an organization that reached out when he needed it, and because he was willing to admit he needed help. Dooling, basically, suffered a nervous breakdown, which explained his sudden decision to retire in August after 12 NBA seasons. The breakdown culminated in a week-long stay in an asylum, and forced him to finally address the root of his troubles: the sexual abuse he had suffered when he was a child in Florida. NBA.com

After a lifetime of hiding the truth, Dooling now wants to tell his story, hoping that it will help kids that are in a similar predicament -- or convince potential predators to seek help before they destroy someone's life. "It started when I was five, and it happened multiple times," Dooling said. "It happened with men and women. I was abused by my brother's friend. I was five; he was about 13 or 14. But also young ladies, older ladies in our neighborhood. In my opinion, I thought I was cool at the time. I thought I was in the in crowd. I thought that was how it was supposed to be. And I was sadly mistaken. I didn't even realize the pattern of behavior I had taken on at such an early age." NBA.com

Dooling earned a reputation as a mentor for young players over the years, including the Pistons' Brandon Knight and the Celtics' Rajon Rondo. He was, in the NBA lexicon, a good locker room guy. He ascended to a vice presidential role in the players' union, always immaculately dressed, able to roll in all manner of different worlds, paying his mentor role forward as he had been helped over the years by the likes of Eddie Jones, Doug Overton and Adonal Foyle, among others. "It's my duty," Dooling said. "I get a lot of pleasure seeing young men, people around their game, reach their goals, accomplish their goals. Uplift their family, uplift their community. And a lot of times, cats just don't know how to do it. They don't know how to put a name or a face to that success they're striving to achieve. I kind of normalize it for them, because I've come from nothing. I've come from the slums, the City Zone, as we like to call it in Fort Lauderdale. I've had a very unique ride, a very unique journey." NBA.com

But the past was never far behind. As Dooling was deciding whether or not to return this season -- he had an open invite, basically, from the Celtics -- his behavior began to deteriorate. The week before the family moved back up north to Boston to get ready for the season, Natosha began noticing her husband acting erratically. He began having hallucinations. "I didn't know what it was, but I knew it wasn't good," she said. "Just weird stuff that he would say, or do. I was just like, 'Hmm, what's going on? Is he OK?' I even called his momma at one point, but she really couldn't give me any answers. I knew something was wrong. Actually, I just stayed on my knees. I was just praying. That's all I know to do, just go before the Lord." NBA.com

He was at home, playing in the street in front of his home with his kids. A neighbor thought he was playing too roughly with the kids and called the police. There is uncertainty about how many officers showed up -- 10? 12? 20? -- but it was more than one. The Doolings were new to the neighborhood. They know the police were just doing their job, responding to a call. But a bunch of cops showing up, unannounced, banging on your door is a little disconcerting. "So I ran to the door to see what was going on," Keyon Dooling said. "I was like, 'Who is this knocking like they're the damn police?' That's what I said to myself. So when I got to the door, it was really the police. They was like, 'Get on the ground, get on the ground, get on the ground!' So I got on the ground." Natosha didn't know what to do, what to tell her kids. She was scared. Keyon had always been the strong one, able to handle whatever. And now he was being taken away. "I was just terrified," she recalled. "I was like, 'What is going on? Like, what are these people doing in my house?' ... And they separated us. They had the kids over here and me over there and Keyon over here. It was horrible. I was living in a nightmare. I was really living in a nightmare. I was terrified for myself, for my kids." NBA.com

"They try to find the right dosage of medicine," he said. "Unfortunately, the dosages are so high that they start out with, all the side effects hit you. And unfortunately, it's [during] visiting hours. So when my wife was coming, I was scared, because I had no control over what I said, what I thought. It was a bad situation." She noticed. "When I saw him, you could tell," Natosha said. "It was like they would give him the medicine, like they was timing to give him the medicine. They would give it to him when they knew I was coming, they would give it to him like four, five hours before so he could be a little calm, but still, [he was] talking out of the side of his head." NBA.com

"There's so much hurt, especially when you grow up in the inner city," he says, "whatever struggle it may have been growing up, fatherless, maybe abusive mother, maybe you've seen a stepfather being abused. Maybe you're like me and you were sexually abused. It hurts. Cops abuse people. Teachers abuse people, you know, like verbal abuse, physical abuse, any kind of abuse. It leaves wounds. And as athletes, a lot of times, we don't heal. We don't know how to heal. We're afraid of healing. Thus we get stuck with all this anger and all these different emotions where we don't even know where they're coming from. We've got to go within." NBA.com

November 8, 2012 Updates

Six weeks after his surprise retirement from the Celtics, Keyon Dooling accepted a role as a player development coordinator in the organization, he told reporters after the C's 100-94 victory against the Wizards. "Wow first day on the job!" tweeted Dooling, who will likely have to relinquish his position as vice president of the National Basketball Players Association. "Such a different experience." WEEI.com

October 30, 2012 Updates

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