Former Raptors Big Man Opens Up on Depression, New-Found Drive
After four seasons with the Raptors, fan-favourite Lucas ‘Bebe’ Nogueira found himself out of the NBA, training in Brazil. Since then, he has revealed his battle with depression.
“I have responsibilities now,” Nogueira said. “I have a daughter to feed and a family to help. People depend on me. This helped me to push through. I’m a young man and I cannot surrender. I should use all of that to inspire me to play my best basketball again.”
At only 26, Nogueira surely has plenty of basketball left to play.
“I talked to a lot of people that I thought would help, but they didn’t. People start to make fun of you and mock you just because you have some money and some status, they think you’re untouchable, like you’re not human. Money and status don’t matter that much. It [depression] can happen to anybody. You can’t escapes just because you’re famous.”
Most recently, ‘Bebe’ played in Spain, where he admitted that he had a drinking problem. “I went out a lot. In Spain, we had one game per week. You’re young, you have some money and no limits. You would eventually find the party. It’s Europe. I had no work ethic whatsoever.”
Nogueira says he has been sober for three months and if focused on working his way back to the NBA. His plan is to prepare himself for this summer so he can participate in tryouts and preseason games.
He is also aiming to play for Brazil in the FIBA World Cup this August, though his spot on the team is by no means, a guarantee.