How Celtics rookie Tremont Waters processed his grief after personal tragedy

Dave Green
NBC Sports Boston

Tremont Waters went from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows in just 21 days.

The Celtics drafted Waters with the 51st pick of the NBA Draft on June 20, and his father Ed was there in Brooklyn to witness the magical moment. But just three weeks later, while Tremont was in Las Vegas with the Celtics' summer league team, Ed Waters committed suicide in a Connecticut hotel room.

Waters spoke at his father's funeral, but later told The Boston Globe that he couldn't even remember what he said that day while processing his grief. Teammates such as Marcus Smart tried to help Waters through that difficult time, and in an exclusive interview with NBC Sports Boston, Waters explained the difficulties of trying to move past his personal tragedy.

"No matter what you're going through, the only person that it's really going to affect is you - if you let it spiral out of control. And I feel like it's important, because you need to get rid of that burden. And whatever it is that you're going through can get worked out."

How was Waters able to work through his grief? He used a fitting analogy to explain the process.

I just try to look at like cleaning my room. Like things are going to get really bad before they get better. And if you want to reorganize your room and clean your room, you have to see the mess that's in front of you to possibly see the end product. And that's cleanliness, the room being nice, set up how you want it. Whatever is going on in the moment, if I see my room is messed up, I want it to look this way.

It's going to look this way for now, until I start chipping away at it step by step, but you have to see all the dirt and dust, and the shoes everywhere to be able to know where you want to go. So I feel like seeing the bad right in front of you helps you see the good that's to come.

For more about Waters' story, check out the video above or click here. And for more on mental health in sports, check out more Headstrong content on or on

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How Celtics rookie Tremont Waters processed his grief after personal tragedy originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

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