MSU’s Cassius Winston opens up about brother’s death, helps others

Local News

EAST LANSING, MICH. (WLNS) — Michigan State University basketball star Cassius Winston is opening up about losing his brother to suicide and his journey after the loss.

Winston sat down with Spartan Vision to talk about his younger brother Zachary Winston. He was only 19-years-old and took his life back in November. The story Winston has to share and his message is hitting close to home for one Spartan alum.

“I feel really blessed for 19, 20 years to actually have a genuine, loving relationship with my brother and be able to remember those good times,” Winston said.

Winston wants to help others through this tragdey and video to, “Give a little hope that it’s terrible, but it isn’t the end.”

One of the people who needed to hear his message was Jordan Gates. He lost his mother to suicide last February.

“What really stood out to me just kind of, he was able to sum up, ya know, how to get through it, how to focus on the positives and the good times,” Gates said.

Gates said seeing Winston be vulnerable came at the right time because this Saturday will be one year since she’s been gone.

“He really drove home the point of you can get through this,” Gates said. “It’s just a matter of recognizing you showed love to them and they knew that you loved them and at the end of the day that all you could do.”

Gates is inspired that Winston is using his platform to help others, especially those thinking of suicide.

“Make sure it becomes about them,” said Winston. “How you can help them, how you can better their situation.”

“I think that was a really great point by him that you drop your own egos and biases and everything and just give 100% to them.”

The goal is to help those who really need it.

Gates said, “As people start opening up more, ya know I think ultimately that’ll end up helping get more resources for mental health.”

“And it’s gonna be people in my situation again and hopefully this helps them out,” said Winston. “It might not be the blueprint cause everybody’s different, but there is a chance that you can still find joy, still find happiness in everyday things.”

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