A closed down campus isn’t enough to stop the Ohio Union Activity Board’s latest event.
“OUABeyond the Court with Kevin Love” will take place Thursday via Zoom webinar. Love, a power forward for the Cleveland Cavaliers and NBA champion, will discuss his career and his battle with mental illness, according to the event page.
“We realized that now more than ever, people really need a talk about mental health, and this is something that’s a really prevalent issue considering all of what’s going down right now, with self-isolation and social distancing,” Samina Hejeebu, a third-year in finance and OUAB’s director of lectures, said.
Love, who has been open about his struggles with depression, anxiety and panic attacks, has become a high-profile figure in raising awareness for mental health and the stigma against speaking about it, especially among athletes. In addition to writing about his experiences for The Players’ Tribune, Love launched the Kevin Love Fund in 2018 to promote physical and emotional well-being.
Hejeebu said that as an Ohio athlete, Love is catering to an audience OUAB has never reached before with a message students want to hear.
“Obviously he’s a world-renowned athlete and one of the best athletes in the world, but he also has been very, very focused on mental health and how that’s impacted him and his career, and so we found it a really good balance,” Hejeebu said.
Hejeebu said students specifically requested Love in a brainstorming survey sent out by OUAB two weeks before the event was announced.
“That was really cool for us to see that students were actually requesting him right before we were about to announce the event,” Hejeebu said.
Matthew Bonner, a fourth-year in marketing, logistics and history and OUAB president, said he wants this event to encompass OUAB’s mission of providing educational, thought-provoking and entertaining events to students.
“Whether it be a fun, entertaining thing to give you a break from Zoom classes, or like the Kevin Love event to really focus on important topics, we’re still trying to provide that for students virtually and kind of finish out the semester really strong,” Bonner said.
“OUABeyond the Court with Kevin Love” will take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Zoom. More information can be found on OUAB’s website.