Ryan Anderson says foundation will be created to honor Gia Allemand
New Orleans Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson spoke emotionally Monday about the Aug. 14 death of his girlfriend Gia Allemand, who committed suicide at the couple’s home in New Orleans.
Anderson, speaking at the team's media day, announced that a charitable foundation will be created in Allemand’s name.
“We’re in the process of starting something great for her, with her family, including my family too,” Anderson said. “We have a huge plan to do something great in her name that’s going to help a lot of people.
“This is a topic that is not talked about enough. It is a huge problem. I wasn’t planning on saying all this, but let’s be honest here, we live in a society where you’ve got to live up to something, and you’ve got to be a certain person, or you’re not going to be accepted. Every single person has something special about them. That’s what I want to be my goal here: To have everybody know not that you’re not alone. Whatever you’re going through in life, you’re not alone. I don’t want to get into too much detail about her foundation, but it’s going to be something great to prove that, to show people that you’re not alone.”
Anderson explained that he has leaned on his religious faith in the weeks since Allemand’s death.
“I praise God every day, to have Him in my life,” the 25-year-old said. “It would be very, very hard if I didn’t have God and Jesus Christ in my life. You know when you’re thinking about something and it seems a lot more difficult? And then when you go through it, you overcome it. Every step of the way has been like that.”
For the past few weeks, Anderson has been in New Orleans, joining voluntary workouts with his teammates. He’s thankful for the recent time he’s spent with family members and fellow New Orleans players.
“Every day is a challenge,” Anderson said. “It helps to be here. My family is with me. To be here with my teammates really helps a lot. But it’s a roller coaster. I’m really glad that Coach (Monty Williams) asked me to come back when he did. I’ve been here for a few weeks now, just being around the guys and being back in the gym. Just having some sort of routine back, it helps a little bit.”
While pausing at times to try to collect his emotions, Anderson said he believes the tragedy and the foundation in Allemand’s name will result in helping others cope with emotional problems.
“Something like that doesn’t happen for no reason,” he said. “I know that 100 percent. I know that there is a huge plan here. I know that a lot of people are going to be helped through this.”