Two former mainstays from St. Joseph’s basketball team are speaking out after a video appearing to show former St. Joe’s and NBA player Delonte West being beaten up and placed in handcuffs on the street went viral on social media.
Former St. Joe’s standout Jameer Nelson, who played alongside West for three seasons, took to social media Monday night to urge restraint in sharing videos of West, which show the former NBA player disheveled and rambling incoherently about being approached by someone with a gun.
It’s unclear where the incident took place, but a street sign in one of the videos indicates it was near Washington, D.C., where West was born.
“Mental illness is something that a lot of people deal with and don’t even know it, until sometimes it’s too late,” Nelson wrote in a lengthy statement on Twitter, adding he has spoken to West several times over the past few months and hopes his former teammate can get the help he needs.
Nelson’s comments were amplified by former St. Joe’s coach Phil Martelli, who called the video of his former student “so very painful.”
West and Nelson played together at St. Joe’s during back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances in 2003 and 2004, one of the greatest runs in Philadelphia college basketball history. West ultimately played eight seasons in the NBA on four different teams, most notably alongside LeBron James on the Cleveland Cavaliers for the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons.