But after all the twists in his career, taking him from the NBA Development League to the Philippines, Italy and Israel and finally back to the NBA, Forbes’ perspective has changed as dramatically as his address. He not only could have an NBA career with diabetes, he might not be in the NBA without it.

“I think the disease has helped me become better,” said Forbes, a veteran of two NBA seasons. “I’m better … at taking care of my body, getting the right amount of sleep, eating the right foods, working out, doing the things it takes to be in this league, and not only to be in this league but to be a good diabetic.”

Forbes was heading into his sophomore year at Virginia (he transferred to UMass after his coach, Pete Gillen, left) when he developed an unquenchable thirst and began dropping weight, losing 20 pounds in a week.

“I was going to the store every five minutes to get something to drink,” Forbes said.

Even with the checklist of diabetes symptoms, he did not start to realize that he could have the disease until doctors began asking about his family history. He had watched his father check his blood-sugar level and give himself injections of insulin, but it was so routine in Forbes’ life that he did not think that he would soon follow the same regimen.

– Reported by Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle