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Spurs' Lonnie Walker IV cuts hair, sheds pain from past

Michael C. Wright

Michael C. Wright

SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio Spurs guard Lonnie Walker IV shed his signature long locks, not to mention the pain associated with his reasoning from growing them out in the first place.

Walker, 21, explained in an Instagram post Thursday that he decided to grow out his hair as an adolescent in an attempt to create what he called “a cloaking device” to shield the pain of suffering sexual abuse as a child.

“The real truth as to why I started doing this early 5th grade, it was a cloaking device for me,” Walker wrote in the Instagram post. “During the summer of my 5th grade year I was around more family. Some [of their] 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 I can control. My hair was what I can make and create and be mine. It gave [me] confidence.”

https://twitter.com/lonniewalker_4/status/1271244323762429952/photo/1

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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 💕🙏🏾

A post shared by Lonnie Walker IV (@buddah) on

View this post on Instagram

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 💕🙏🏾

A post shared by Lonnie Walker IV (@buddah) on

Walker’s agent, George Langberg, released a statement Thursday night addressing his client’s post.

“This is something that Lonnie has been dealing with for some time,” Langberg wrote.

“Being able to share this shows tremendous strength and courage, while also lifting a weight off of Lonnie. It is his hope that by that opening up, it will help anyone who reads his story that may have been sexually abused in the past, or anyone who may be going through something similar now, to know that they are not alone. Lonnie appreciates the outpouring of support and appreciates everyone respecting his privacy at this time.”

http://twitter.com/GeorgeLangberg/status/1271314264108568580

http://twitter.com/GeorgeLangberg/status/1271314264108568580

Walker’s new haircut features a curved part etched into the front and a cross shaved into the back where his fade starts to blend. In the video posted with Walker’s revelation, the guard is sitting down for the new style and a large clump of hair tumbles once hit with a pair of clippers. Walker discusses his various iterations of hairstyles over the years, as images superimposed to his hair serve as visual aids in telling the story.

Walker also narrates the video.

“So, it all started in seventh grade. I had a small mohawk,” Walker said on the video. “Going into eighth grade, I dyed the mohawk (red). Ninth grade, I cut the back off and turned it into a flat top. Ninth and 10th grade, I would trim it, the sides, trim the top. It was really clean. In 11th grade, I started using this sponge. In the 12th grade, I started taking these really hard advanced, chemistry [classes], AP, physics and everything. Whenever I had a hard test the next day, I always started to twist up my hair.

“Freshman year of college, it kind of just took its turn and became its own person. The humidity and everything just changed the game up.”

In his second season, Walker averaged 5.6 points and 2.2 rebounds, producing his most memorable outing on Dec. 3 against the Houston Rockets when he scored a career-high 28 points off the bench, including 19 in the fourth quarter to lead a comeback victory. In that game, Walker became the youngest player (20) in Spurs history to rack up at least 25 points off the bench.

Walker said in Thursday’s post on Instagram that the current coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on him, mentally. The NBA suspended the season back in March, but Walker has managed to stay busy. In the wake of local protests against police brutality in San Antonio, Walker helped to clean up businesses in the central part of the city that were damaged.

“Long story short, I have found peace and internal happiness through this journey, God willingly,” Walker wrote on Instagram. “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,” he added. “My hair was a mask of me hiding the insecurities that I felt the world wasn’t ready for. But now, [I’m] better than ever. Out with the old. In with the new. I have shed my skin mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Life will always be hard. [You’ve] got to play with the cards [you’re] dealt with and try to make a winning hand. And if you lose. It’s never a lost. It’s a lesson.’

The Spurs selected Walker with the 18th pick of the 2018 NBA Draft. The selection was San Antonio’s highest pick since 1997, when it drafted future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan with the No.1 overall pick.

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