Delonte West -- who publicly battled mental health, addiction and legal issues -- is opening up about his basketball comeback for the first time ... with the NBA hooper saying he feels he has more bounce than ever in new workout footage we obtained.
We broke the news in February ... the 38-year-old, former 8-year NBA vet was training with the goal of making the BIG 3, participating in a try-outin Washington D.C.earlier this month (DW was invited to an upcoming workout).
Now, West is speaking out ... saying he's hyped to return to the court.
"It's important really to be honest about how you feel physically and what you're capable to do," West said in the new video.
YouTube/DONOVAN THE ENTERTAINER
"I lost some weight so I actually feel a little more athletic. I can jump a little higher now."
And, you can see in the footage ... 6'3" West goes up for a reverse dunk at an outdoor court in Maryland, throwing it down like it was nothing.
His jumper and handles look pretty good, too. West's manager, Donovan Fordham, tells us the former 24th overall pick (2004 NBA Draft) has been working nonstop, on and off the court.
"He's constantly working on mental health," Fordham tells us on Monday, "he's really fighting."
There's more. We're also told West and Fordham are working with 214 Films to create a documentary about Delonte's life.
The hooper has been through a lot ... and wants to shine a spotlight on the importance of mental health.