Billy Garrett Shares Sixers' Desire to Win After 4 Straight Losing Seasons at DePaul | NBC 10 Philadelphia

Billy Garrett Shares Sixers' Desire to Win After 4 Straight Losing Seasons at DePaul

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    Billy Garrett Shares Sixers' Desire to Win After 4 Straight Losing Seasons at DePaul
    CSNPhilly.com
    Billy Garrett shares Sixers' desire to win after 4 straight losing seasons at DePaul

    CAMDEN, N.J. -- Billy Garrett had a rough time at DePaul.
     
    The Blue Demons went 24-41 in the 6-foot-6 guard's first two years on campus. After a coaching change, things didn't get much better. DePaul won just 18 games combined during Garrett's junior and senior seasons.
     
    "It's tough to deal with, man," Garrett said after a pre-draft workout with the Sixers on Monday. "Especially if you've never been in that situation ... I won everything in high school - so you're like, 'Man, I don't really know how to deal with this.'"
     
    What Garrett has gone through personally is much worse than any of the losses he accrued on the court.
     
    Garrett suffers from sickle cell anemia. Sickle cell anemia or sickle cell disease (SCD) is a red blood cell disorder. The red blood cells become hard and sticky and form a C-shape like a sickle. This can cause the red blood cells to get stuck and stop blood flow, which can cause severe joint pain or infection. The disease is found primarily in African-Americans. About 1 in 13 African-American babies is born with sickle cell trait, according to a CDC study
     
    An episode can be brought on by fatigue, stress, extreme hot or cold, or high altitude. As a college athlete, Garrett had to use extreme caution.
     
    "You got to take care for your body," Garrett said. "You got to pay special attention to your body. In my training the last two months, I've been working really, really hard to get myself into the type of shape you need to be in to be able to work out and impress. I think I've been able to do that.
     
    "Diet's been really important. Rest. Playing in college with sickle cell, I figured out what works for me and what doesn't. Just listen to my body, eat right, stay hydrated and hope everything works out for me."
     
    During the pre-draft process, Garrett has been strict with his diet. He's cut out added sugars, only eating food with natural sugars. He's lost about 10 pounds since college as well. He's staying on top of his hydration, vital for someone with sickle cell, by drinking coconut water and getting plenty of electrolytes.
     
    Feeling healthy, Garrett's focus on Monday was on trying to impress the Sixers. The Chicago native has tools that could intrigue the team. He averaged 14.9 points a game while shooting 36 percent from three. He also shot a very impressive 88 percent from the free throw line.
     
    Garrett will likely go undrafted, but that doesn't mean he didn't get the Sixers' attention.
     
    "I think I'd fit pretty well with this team," Garrett said. "It's a franchise on the uptick. Four tough years and they're trying to rebuild. Talking to coach (Brett) Brown, we talked about culture. Think I'd be a great addition to the culture. Just bringing in the right work ethic, the right attitude. I think this would be a great place for me."
     
    Unfortunately, Garrett and the Sixers do have losing in common over the last four years. It's something Garrett is prepared to endure in the NBA, but not a trend he'd like to continue.
     
    "I think [losing in college] kind of prepared me for that," Garrett said. "But with that being said, I don't want to come in here and be a part of a losing franchise. Nobody does."