SAN Miguel star Chris Ross wants to use his voice and make basketball an avenue to spread awareness about mental health.
Talking in front of his fellow PBA players during the league’s Development Program on Friday at Meralco Main Theater in Pasig City, Ross and Alaska assistant coach Tony dela Cruz shed light on the sensitive topic.
Ross explained that, as basketball players who can influence so many people, it is important for them to use their popularity the right way.
“I’m just one guy who has a voice and trying to use his platform in a good way. Hopefully, I could reach one person that’s going through something,” he said. “Hopefully I could reach one and they could reach another person and we just keep it going from there.”
“I felt like I could use that platform to talk about it. ‘Cause you never know who’s watching, you never know who’s listening,” he added. “Hopefully they could take those words and won’t be scared to reach out to someone and try to get up.”
He pointed out that programs such as these are needed for athletes, whose job is stressful in nature.
“It’s great [for PBA to do this], cause we’re more than athletes. There are 24 hours in a day and we’re spending that on basketball for maybe five, six hours. But the other 18 hours?” said Ross.
“You’re in life, life’s real and life’s hard. It’s more than just basketball,” he added.
As of now, San Miguel doesn’t have a team psychiatrist or an expert who deals with mental health but Ross plans to talk to the management on what they can do.
“We haven’t really talked about it. Hopefully, in the near future I could sit down with the bosses and we can talk about it right,” he said.
“The bosses are leaning in and supportive if we have other projects we wanna do aside from basketball. So maybe I could talk to some of the bosses and help me out,” he added.