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Pelicans’ Ryan Anderson trying to understand, move on from girlfriend’s suicide

Oct 10, 2013, 10:27 AM EDT

Ryan Anderson, Arron Afflalo AP

You can’t help but feel for Ryan Anderson.

The Pelican’s stretch four is still grieving after being the one that discovered the body of his girlfriend — Gia Allemand who had been on “The Bachelor” — when she had committed suicide in August.

Anderson is understandably devastated, and you could see it when he spoke to the media on media day (watch the video at this link). He broke up multiple times.

Now to his credit he wants to be proactive — he and Allemand’s family are starting a foundation to reach out to people who are depressed and considering suicide. Anderson spoke Wednesday with Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel and talked about the foundation, just trying to cope, leaning on his friends and faith, and finding a way to move on.

“They say that God never gives you too much that you can’t handle,” Anderson told me after Wednesday morning’s shootaround. “In a lot of ways, I thought this was too much…

“Every day’s a roller-coaster, man. Every day is hard,” he said. “I miss her every second…but I owe this to her. I owe this to myself. I don’t want to just be a basketball player and go home and have my life just revolve around that.

“I want it to be about changing lives, be a difference-maker. This has really helped me grow up.”

I can’t imagine Anderson’s pain, but hopefully this foundation can make a difference, can change lives and spare other boyfriends and families this pain. If you’ve had a family member who has battled depression, you know the challenges that fill that relationship but you feel like you have to do something to help. It’s cliche, but if he helps just one family with this…

Anderson is trying to do something, trying to move on. I feel for him, anyone with empathy should. Send your positive thoughts, your prayers to him. He could use all of it as he deals with something real, something much bigger than his job.

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