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John Wall pushing through while worried about mother's health

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John Wall's breakout season has been bittersweet, as his mother is currently in the hospital with fluid buildup in her lungs.

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

I'm always amazed by how athletes compartmentalize all the things that are going on in their personal lives and perform in front of so many fans with so much pressure at stake. There is no way I would be able to do the same at my job, as much as I'd keep trying.

In this light, I think it's worth sharing Michael Lee's story in the Washington Post yesterday. First-time All-Star and Slam Dunk Contest champion John Wall has been playing the entire season while worried about his mother's health. She didn't make the trip to New Orleans because she's in the hospital with fluid buildup in her lungs and has been dealing with similar issues all season.

"I'm dealing with a lot of stuff, but she wants me to enjoy myself. She wants me to be happy," Wall said before practice at the New Orleans Convention Center. "Whenever I get the opportunity, I try to call her and check on her, make sure she's all right and try to enjoy myself. At the same time, that's also at the back of your mind."

Wall is extremely close to his mother, who helped turn him from troubled child to model student and top basketball prospect. You probably recall Wall sobbing in front of his mom during his max contract press conference when he was asked about the sacrifices his family made to help get him to this point. Wall's now-deceased father went to prison when he was young and was never a part of his life.

The whole story is worth reading. I hope you all join me in sending best wishes to Frances Pulley and the entire Wall family.