Spurs’ Lonnie Walker IV Details Mental Health Journey That Led to Haircut

San Antonio Spurs guard Lonnie Walker IV (1) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Feb.10, 2020, in Denver. The Nuggets won 127-120. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

David Zalubowski/Associated Press

After cutting his signature hairstyle, San Antonio Spurs guard Lonnie Walker IV detailed that he grew out his hair as a coping mechanism after he was a victim of sexual abuse as a child.

He released the following statement on his Instagram page:

“The real truth as to why i started doing this early 5th grade, it was a cloaking device for me. During the summer of my 5th grade year I was around more family. Some that names will be left alone I was around more. I was sexually harassed, raped, abused, I even got accustomed to it because being at that age you don’t know what is what. I was a gullible curious kid that didn’t know what the real world was. I had a mindset that my hair was something that I can control. My hair was what I can make and create and be mine. And it gave my confidence. As of recently I wasn’t at my best. Previous History popping up in my head and it sucked mentally ‘demons’….. because of this virus, I began to truly look at myself in the mirror and see who I truly was even behind closed doors. Long story short I have found peace and internal happiness through this journey god willingly. I forgave everyone even the people that don’t deserve it why? Because it’s dead weight. Time doesn’t wait on anyone so why should I waste my time on it ? Me cutting my hair was more than a cut. My hair was a mask of me hiding the insecurity’s that I felt the world wasn’t ready for. But now better then ever. Out with old. In with the new. I have shed my skin mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Life will always be hard. Gotta play with the cards your dealt with and try and make a winning hand. And if you lose. It’s never a lost. It’s a lesson I’m gonna be off this for awhile still growing through this. Just know I love each and everyone one of y’all. Peace love and happiness.”

Madalyn Mendoza of the San Antonio Express-News noted Walker had teased his haircut on Instagram and said it was “time for a new chapter” after keeping the same style for six years.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski shared a statement from Walker’s agent, George Langberg:

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

Spurs guard Lonnie Walker IV revealed he was the victim of sexual abuse as a child in a social media post tonight. https://t.co/kixzHR5xPZ https://t.co/Y4oqr0Fyyc

The Spurs selected Walker with the No. 18 overall pick of the 2018 NBA draft out of the University of Miami.

In 53 games this season, he is averaging 5.6 points and 2.2 rebounds a night while shooting 40.8 percent from three-point range.

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