July 14, 2021

James Donaldson | Standing above the crowd

James Donaldson | Standing above the crowd

The 7-foot-2-inch James Donaldson is best known for his years with the Seattle SuperSonics. He also was a star player in his younger days for Washington State University and played 11 seasons for other National Basketball Association teams.

He started a successful physical therapy business in 1989 but then hit hard times in 2015 after open-heart surgery. His mother died, his wife left him, his business failed, his savings evaporated and he even considered suicide.

But then came the suicide of WSU football star Tyler Hilinski, which shocked him and convinced him to get back on his feet and continue on with his life.

He started a foundation, yourgiftoflife.org to further the conversation about mental health and suicide. And he's written a book "Celebrating Your Gift of Life."

What we discussed:

  • The business of sports and how not to take things personally (it's a business)
  • How to put your personal development "team" together
  • Suicide prevention (the stigma of mental health for pro-athletes)
  • The importance of staying connected during a crisis
  • Finding your purpose in life

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