Diabetes risk prompts Pacers' Danny Granger to make changes

Danny Granger
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Pro basketball player Danny Granger opens up about serious health issues in his family that put them at risk for serious eye, kidney and heart problems.

When not managed, diabetes can be fatal. It's estimated that half of all the people who have it don't know it, and continue a lifestyle which puts them in danger.

Pacers veteran Danny Granger is now lending his voice to a health message that to him is personal. His father, grandfather and three uncles all were diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.

"My grandfather would have a lot of episodes where he'd have blackouts and he'd have sugar attacks and different things like that, so it's been pretty serious," said Granger. "It is scary, especially for an older man dealing with those things. We'd have to get him to the hospital and get his sugar down."

Granger knows with his family history and being African-American, he is at higher risk. So to stay fit and minimize his risk, his diet got an overhaul.

"My diet in New Orleans was like fried fish, fried shrimp; there was a lot of seafood. Fried gumbo. Things were made with a lot of butter, a lot of oils. Deep-fried stuff. I could give you some stuff that the calorie count is probably off the charts!" he said.

Now Granger has switched to foods like kale, asparagus and sweet potatoes. He's also juicing a lot of fresh vegetables and his diet has completely changed "180 degrees."

He says his wife and 14-month-old twins are on board, and he hopes to encourage others to strive to improve their diet. He says when you do, your taste buds start changing.

"I remember when I stopped drinking Coke - this was a long time ago. I was like, I could never stop drinking Coke...it was so good! But if I drink a Coke now, it's so sweet to me I can't even drink it because I haven't had it in so long. So strive to make change in your life you will be a lot healthier and you will be a lot happier," he said.

Granger is part of the Dribble to Stop Diabetes campaign. Learn more here.