Bradley Beal learned of the death of his maternal grandmother Nov. 9, just after landing in Cleveland for a game against the Cavaliers the following night. Beal played through the game, waiting until after to tell his teammates — though they already saw in his face that he was grieving. The Wizards’ guard then sat out the next two games before returning for Wednesday’s loss to the Charlotte Hornets.
Two weeks after her death, Beal’s mindset on the court has already started to take a new shape. He sat down with NBC Sports Washington’s Chris Miller and discussed the weight of his loss.
“It definitely changes my mindset a lot,” Beal said. “It's tough at times to walk on the floor because…it reminds me of her. It hits you unexpectedly but at the same time, it encourages me to keep going and encourages me in the fact that I have another level that I need to tap into and I can get to and I just serve this as motivation to get there. Lean on God, lean on the pain and the experience to uplift me, to push me to get better, push me to stay in the gym, push me to be better, push me to be a great example for my boys. For sure, it's always unfortunate in these situations but it definitely serves as motivation.”
Beal, 28, is in the midst of his 10th NBA season. He entered the league with the Wizards as a teenager and has since started a family in D.C. He and his wife, Kamiah Adams-Beal, have two sons named Bradley II and Braylon. He’s relied on both his family and his faith to help him through this mourning process.
“It’s [my] support system and God, trust in God,” Beal said. “That's how I was raised and that's — you’re brought up your faith and you can't, in your toughest times, you never give up on your faith. That's the easiest thing for us to do at times and that just keeps me going.
“To have my support system of my brothers, my parents, my wife, my kids, best friends, they uplift me. A lot of people have been in this situation so they help me of knowing that you can't plan for anything like that, you can’t. I can't tell you how to mourn. I can't tell you how to deal with it. But you do have to face it, you have to. You can’t avoid it so it's been tough. It’s been definitely tough on the family, but in our profession we still have a job to do and I know that she'd ultimately love to be at all my games and she is now. So that's kind of how I try to train my mind to think that way.”