Cade Cunningham's maturity has been one of his key strengths even before he entered the NBA as the no. 1 overall pick of the Detroit Pistons in 2021. However, that didn't come easy, as Cunningham went through all sorts of pain and ordeal before growing to the player he is today.

Recently turning 21, Cunningham opened up about his sad past and why he is happy he reached this point of his life. The Pistons youngster shared his painful experience of seeing two of his really close friends die when he was in high school.

“My best friend from elementary school, he passed away my junior year,” Cunningham told Marc J. Spears of Andscape. “My senior year, one of my other good friends from junior high and high school passed away. They were 16 and 17. So, 21, it’s a blessing.”

Cade Cunningham was talking about his good friends in Cyson Wright and Anthony Strather, who were 16 and 17 respectively when they passed away. Even more heartbreaking, Strather was reportedly shot to death as he was trying to break up a fight.

“I had just moved away from home for my junior year, and that happened. And it was tough. I had never really had anybody leave my life until then, so not being around my friend and everything, it was tough. And then in my senior year, it was the day I went on one of my [college] visits [to the University of Washington],” Cunningham detailed.

“[Strather was killed] in my neighborhood and my parents were there dealing with it while they had a flight they were supposed to catch to Seattle to meet me at the University of Washington. Crazy stuff went on in my neighborhood and everybody had to help out with that and deal with that. That was a traumatizing time, but to be here now is a blessing. That was in high school. So, to live my dreams is amazing to me.”

Cunningham has been a great stabilizing force and leader for the Pistons, and his maturity even in his young age is a big reason for that. While he went through such heartbreaks, he is definitely making his friends proud of what he has become and what he has made himself capable of doing.

A bright future awaits the young Pistons playmaker, and he definitely has the right mindset to achieve those high expectations on him.