November 24, 2021 

Indiana Fever’s Kysre Gondrezick opens up about mental health struggles, WNBA absence

'Today, I am better as a person'

Indiana Fever guard Kysre Gondrezick missed a sizeable portion of her rookie season. She was listed as out for personal reasons in each of the Fever’s final 12 regular season games, and she was never seen at practice or on the team’s bench during that span.

The reason for her absence from basketball was unknown, as Gondrezick vanished from the public eye.

On Monday, the 2021 fourth overall pick opened up and shared why she took time away from basketball and the WNBA. She posted the following on Twitter:

“Over the course of last several months, my life has become very still. I needed undivided attention on myself and my creator. My mental health was at a high risk as I was under a lot of stress coping with my own personal silence of traumas,” the statement reads in part. “As I began to take notice of the change within myself and basketball, during the time I looked forward to over the WNBA Olympic Break, I realized that my mental imbalance couldn’t allow me to find the joy in rest and recovery. Instead, I didn’t know how to be still and, I didn’t have enough strength to get up. I was unable to identify these many emotions and I immediately sought help. For the last five months, I placed a pause on social life and additional activities to get the help and support for my mental health and well-being. I have done a lot of inner work with the understanding that the process will and forever continue.”

The former West Virginia Mountaineer also mentioned the loss of her father contributing to her mental struggles — Grant Gondrezick passed away in January of this year, just a few months before the WNBA draft. Kysre Gondrezick has mentioned her upbringing as a factor in her basketball journey, including just after being selected by the Fever. “I’m not the most athletic, but very skilled and fundamentally sound. To use my basketball heritage to be able to just have a knack for the ball, whether it’s on the offensive or defensive end.”

The Fever released a statement soon after Gonrezick made her struggles public. “We are glad Kysre is doing well and was able to seek help during such a tough time for her personally. We support all of our players as they gather additional guidance in improving their wellness and mental health,” Indiana head coach Marianne Stanley said in the release.

Neither Kysre Gondrezick nor Stanley’s comments indicate if the 24-year old guard will be back with Indiana for training camp next season. The Fever have supported the young guard throughout every step of her absence so far, though, so one can assume they will continue to work with Gondrezick going forward regardless of when she decides to return to the team.

“Today, I am better as a person and am absolutely comfortable in my own skin,” Gondrezick stated. “I realize now that prioritizing my mental health was the most important lesson of all to move past unlearned behaviors that caused continued pain and trauma. I am thankful that God has blessed me with time, the right people, and grace throughout this journey. Thank you to everyone for your support, thoughts and prayers. It has not gone unnoticed.”

Gondrezick last played on July 11 in a win over the Atlanta Dream. She averaged 1.9 points and 0.9 assists across 9.1 minutes per game during her rookie season.

Written by Tony East

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