Ismar Kriese is the son of war refugee parents who fled their homeland in search of opportunity outside their own country while he was still in the womb. He was born in Germany and grew up dirt poor as his parents worked their but off just to survive.
He ended up leaving Germany with his parents to go to Canada where he grew up and went to school. When he was about 8 years old his father left him, his sister and his mother to start a new family.
Before he started high school his mother and father had been trying to fix things and a altercation forced him suddenly to move in with his father, who he had only seen a couple of times a year. His mother tried to stay in contact with him but eventually she ended up abandoning him.
During his first high school years, he lived in a one bedroom basement apartment, sleeping an a mattress that was on the floor together with his father.
At that time his father was a heavy alcoholic who drank himself most nights to sleep, as a result being very violent and aggressive. His father would constantly bring strange women home while Ismar was sleeping in the 1 bedroom apartment.
Not to long after that he began to get interested in the game of basketball, he ended up falling in love with it and going to a private high school in Chicago, where he eventually received a scholarship to play at a Canadian university.
He was excited that he could finally be recognized as having some sort of value that he was pretty good at basketball. At that time his father actually found a new wife and left him once again to go back to Germany to visit her.
Ismar lived with his grandparents for the last two years of his high school career and didn’t go out much or have any friends over since they were very strict and he wasn’t so social at the time.
After his first year of university he decided that he was going to dropout and go back to Germany to start his professional basketball career.
At this time is when he started to experience the inner battle of anxiety and depression. Being alone with no friends or family around him, he spiraled really quickly into a deep dark hole.
During that time he was struggling to have that passionate drive about the love of basketball that he had once before. But the anxiety and depression overruled him and he couldn't get out of it. He was struggling everyday and was socially disabled.
He then ended up getting thrown off the team later that year after he was considered to be a up and coming young talent. He felt like a total loser and not to soon after that was on welfare and social assistance.
Until one day he met his wife and everything changed. It took him about 1.5 years to get better and completely reprogram his mind, not to give into the anxiety and depression.
And now he is happily married to his wife, has a beautiful son, living in a nice home of his own and another child is on the way.
Ismar is now on a mission to help professional athletes overcome their battle with depression and to conquer their inner self to achieve that healthy work life balance .