NBA Draft pick Tyrell Terry retires at 22 due to anxiety


FULE–Tyrell Terry #1 of the Dallas Mavericks. John McCoy/Getty Images/AFP 

Tyrell Terry, a 2020 NBA Draft pick by the Dallas Mavericks, announced his retirement at age 22 in an Instagram post, saying basketball brought “the darkest times of my life.”

After a stellar college career at Stanford, the guard was chosen 31st overall by the Mavericks, the first selection of the second round, in the 2020 draft.

But Terry played only 13 NBA games, 11 for the Mavs in the 2020-21 campaign and two last season for the Memphis Grizzlies. He took a long absence in his rookie season for personal reasons and was released in pre-season training camp last year.

He cited mental health issues for giving up on his long-time NBA dream.

“This message is a very difficult one to share and an emotional one to write,” Terry wrote.

“Today I decided to let go of the game that has formed a large part of my identity. Something that has guided my path since I took my first steps.

“While I have achieved amazing accomplishments, created unforgettable memories, and made lifelong friends… I’ve also experienced the darkest times of my life. To the point where instead of building me up, it began to destroy me.”

Terry said he looks forward to exploring “my identity outside of being a basketball player” and said the anxiety the sport caused him meant “I can’t continue this fight any longer for something I have fallen out of love with.”

The pressures of trying to make it in the NBA took a toll, Terry said.

“I began to despise and question the value of myself, much more than those surrounding me could ever see or know,” Terry wrote.

“Intrusive thoughts, waking up nauseous, and finding myself struggling to take normal breaths because of the rock that would sit on my chest that seemed to weigh more than I could carry.”

Terry said he accepts that he will “to most be forever known as a bust, a failure or a waste of talent,” but added that “the biggest failures in life lead to the greatest successes.

“There’s more for me out in this vast world and I’m extremely excited to be able to explore that.”

Terry apologized to those he let down but declared himself on a new path — “one that will hopefully lead to happiness and being able to love myself again.”


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