San Antonio Spurs guard Lonnie Walker IV chopped off his signature hairstyle on Wednesday night.
It turns out, he had a pretty emotional reason why.
Walker, who showed the haircut on Instagram live, explained why he started growing his hair out and switching up the colors frequently as a kid in an Instagram post on Thursday night.
Walker shared he was sexually assaulted, raped and abused when he was in the fifth grade. While that was happening, Walker realized that his hair was something he could control — so he started having fun with it.
“I was sexually harassed, raped, abused, I even got accustomed to it because being at that age you don’t know what is what,” he wrote, in part. “I was a gullible, curious kid that didn’t know what the real world was.
“I had a mindset that my hair was something that I can control. My hair was what I can make and create and be mine. And it gave [me] confidence.”
Walker was averaging 5.6 points and 2.2 rebounds this season off the bench for the Spurs when the season was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, his second year with the team after they selected him with the No. 18 overall pick in 2018.
Recently, the 21-year-old admitted that he “wasn’t at my best” and that “previous history” kept popping up in his head. He partly blamed the coronavirus pandemic, which abruptly suspended his season in March and drastically altered everyday life around the world.
"This is something that Lonnie has been dealing with for some time," Walker's agent, George Langberg, said in a statement to ESPN on Thursday night. "Being able to share this shows tremendous strength and courage, while also lifting a weight off of Lonnie. It is his hope that by opening up, it will help anyone who reads his story that may have been sexually abused in the past, or anyone who may be going through something similar now, to know that they are not alone.”
Though the Reading, Pennsylvania, native didn’t go into detail about his abuse or name any of his abusers, Walker said he’s forgiven them.
Cutting his hair, he realized, meant a lot more than just a visit to his barber. It was a fresh start.
“I have found peace and internal happiness through this journey, God willingly,” he wrote, in part. “I forgave everyone, even the people that don’t deserve it. Why? Because it’s dead weight. Time doesn’t wait on anyone, so why should I waste my time on it? Me cutting my hair was more than a cut. My hair was a mask of me hiding the insecurities that I felt the world wasn’t ready for. But now better than ever. Out with old. In with the new. I have shed my skin mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.”
More from Yahoo Sports: