Jerry Stackhouse is a Brooklyn Nets’ basketball player who is passionate both on and off the court. Stackhouse has been a star player from the time he was a teenager; he’s been scoring points and winning games ever since. One of eleven children, Stackhouse has been inspired by his parents to be active in community service, including working with the American Diabetes Association and JDRF, and founding The Triple Threat Foundation, a grassroots diabetes advocacy organization.
What is your state of mind today?
I feel very blessed. Not only am I still playing after 18 years and playing the game I love every day, but I am able to use that platform to raise awareness for a number of causes I believe in, especially diabetes. And most importantly, I have a wonderful family that means that everything to me.
What three words would you use to describe who you are?
Competitive, driven, spiritual.
How does diabetes change – or not change – who you are?
It has completely shaped who I am as a man. Two of my older sisters passed away from complications associated with diabetes, and both of my parents live with type 2 diabetes. That stays with you. I am vigilant about my own health by leading a healthy lifestyle, but the effects this disease has had on my family have prompted me to take a stand. I am very passionate about raising diabetes awareness.
What inspires you to do what you do?
I love playing basketball, and I feel very lucky that I get to do it professionally. Because of that mentality, I work hard every day to improve my game (regardless of how many years I’ve been in the league), and serve as a leader on my team.
What do you appreciate most in your friends?
What would you pack for your favorite vacation?
A bathing suit!
What’s in your refrigerator right now?
Not all that much. Since I live in New York City, I do a lot of eating out.
What is your favorite way to relieve stress?
I like to listen to music. I also like to ride my bike through the city.
What is your idea of happiness?
I’m living it.
What do you most dislike?
People who are not genuine.
What’s your favorite diabetes management tip?
Eat healthy, exercise, and make sure to get annual check-ups!
What is your greatest extravagance?
On what occasion do you lie?
I’m a pretty straightforward guy. I’m not much of a liar.
If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
I wish we’d had the diabetes education that we do now, so that my sisters might still be with us today. And I wish my parents were not living with it.
Who are your heroes in real life?
What are you looking forward to right now?
I have a lot of interests, and as I look ahead to my post-playing career, I am excited about the opportunity to pursue broadcasting.
Any last words of wisdom?
Just be yourself, and everything else will fall into place.
All opinions contained in this article reflect those of the interviewee and not of Sanofi US, its employees, agencies, or affiliates.
© 2013 The DX: The Diabetes Experience