Wolves SG Jaylen Nowell overcoming mental health hurdles and now wants to help others
Jaylen Nowell, 20, was the Wolves’ second round pick last year after winning Pac-12 Player of the Year honors at Washington. As bright a future as he has on the basketball court, it’s equal to what he wants to accomplish away from the game.
We featured Nowell on the Tuesday Nightcast. Click the video box above to watch Nowell’s story.
Five years ago, Nowell lost his dad, grandpa, and uncle over the course of just a few months. As he told KSTP Sports, "Mental health is an issue, and I’ve battled for a long time."
But Nowell was courageous enough to seek out help, including most recently with Twin Cities-based sports psychologist, Dr. Justin Anderson.
Nowell now wants to be an advocate for mental wellness, hoping to lead a charge and help others who are in need.
In his first pro year, Nowell shuttled back-and-forth between Minnesota and the G League’s Iowa Wolves. While his NBA time was minimal, his time in the G League was very productive. In 26 games with Iowa, Nowell averaged 21.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists over 32.7 minutes with a 49.0% field-goal percentage and 44.1% on 3-point attempts.
Nowell had two double-digit scoring games with the Timberwolves, including an 11-point effort vs. Orlando on March 6.
But then the sport came to a halt with the COVID-19 pandemic, another obstacle for Nowell to overcome just as he was starting to see increased playing time.
Nowell turns 21 on Thursday.