GOODYEAR, AZ — A Valley high school basketball team is taking on more than their opponent. They're taking on mental health awareness.
The Estrella Foothills Wolves in Goodyear is dedicating Friday night's boy’s basketball game against Yuma High School to suicide prevention.
The move comes after the team dedicated a game in 2019 to mental health awareness. It was considered a success.
The idea came from the team's assistant coach, Chad Williams. Williams has opened up to his players about his time dealing with depression, something he says started when he was in high school.
It then escalated to Williams harming himself. The coach says he knows this is something a teenager doesn't grow out of.
"That's kinda what we thought with me," said Williams. "Then 15 years later I was still harming myself on and off."
The latest numbers from the CDC show suicide rates among youth ages 10 to 24 climbed 56% from 2007 to 2017. The numbers tripled for kids age 10 to 14 during the same time frame.
The team posted this video to their Twitter to raise awareness and promote the game.