Ahead of Thursday’s game, Raptors superstar Kawhi Leonard was asked about the life-changing event in his youth,  and how it’s affected his mindset when playing basketball.

Specifically his father’s murder. 

In 2008, a then 16-year-old Leonard suffered a devastating personal tragedy when his father Mark was fatally shot at the car wash he owned in the Los Angeles suburb of Compton,  a crime that to this day remains unsolved.

“Once it happened, I thought about it a lot. But as I got older, I pretty much just really stopped thinking about it,” Leonard explained. “It just gave me a sense and feel that life and basketball are two different things and just really enjoy your time and moments. This is basketball. Just go out there and have fun. These are going to be the best years of my life, playing this game.”

Tough way to grow up. 

Leonard will try to stop back-to-back champions Golden State Warriors from three peating. 

I’m sure his Father will be watching from up above. 

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