Sweetney not giving up on NBA return

Sweetney not giving up on NBA return
December 22, 2011, 12:34 am
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BOSTON -- Michael Sweetney has been around the world and back since the last time he played on the Celtics training camp roster in 2009.

Hes played in Erie, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, and even as far as China pursuing his goal of getting back in the NBA.

Along the way the 29-year-old forward has tried to adapt a new way of life, one that he hopes can help him get back on the court.

Ive pretty much just trying to get in better shape, he told CSNNE.com prior to Wednesdays Celtics-Raptors preseason game. Ive been struggling with that a lot in my career, my weight going up and down. Ive been working on it, trying keep it down.

Listed at 295 pounds, he would not comment on his weight but says he is less than he was his first go-around with the Cs.Its uncertain how the adjustment will pay off - the Celtics have to trim the roster for the start of the regular season. But the change in diet is something that will help Sweetney beyond basketball.

You see a lot of guys dropping like flies, he said. And I dont want to be one of those people.

Sweetney has struggled with his weight his entire life. The battle intensified after his rookie season with the New York Knicks when his father passed away. Sweetney says he went through a stage of depression. He has since received help and wants to keep plugging away at his goals.

With the help of his wife, who went to culinary school, he has adopted an organic diet. Reading labels and examining ingredients has become a part of his everyday life.

I actually had to change my whole diet, he said. I watched the show Food, Inc. and I didnt know all this stuff. If I go to the store and I buy chicken, Im thinking ok its good. But I didnt know all the stuff thats in it, all the steroids and hormones.

"Thats why see kids walking around now like that because theyve been putting steroids in their body. So theres little things I didnt know and I had to change it up. Its hard. I had to cut a lot of the junk food and juices out and try to drink a lot of water.

Whether he makes the Celtics roster or not, Sweetney is set on pursuing a return to the NBA.

Its my passion, he said. I love to play, I love the game. Why not keep trying?