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Ex-Mavericks Player Retires, Citing Anxiety

Sports

Former Dallas Mavericks guard Tyrell Terry. | Image by Bart Young, NBAE, Getty Images

Tyrell Terry, a guard drafted by the Dallas Mavericks in 2020, announced his retirement from basketball at the age of 22 in an Instagram post on Thursday, citing overwhelming anxiety. 

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

“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. Where I began to despise and question the value of myself, much more than those surrounding me could ever see or know. 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 much more than I could carry. This is just a brief description of the anxiety this sport has caused me, and while I’m grateful for every door it has opened for me, I can’t continue this fight any longer for something I have fallen out of love with.”

The Mavericks selected Terry with the 31st overall pick in the 2020 draft after one season at Stanford, where he earned Pac-12 All-Freshman honors.

As a rookie, the guard appeared in 11 games with Dallas before taking a two-month leave of absence for personal reasons. Ahead of his second NBA season, Terry revealed the extended absence was due to mental health reasons.

“I was dealing with some mental health stuff that runs in my family,” he said. “I wasn’t really aware it was creeping up on me. It hit me kind of serious.”

Dallas released Terry before his second regular season—despite owing him a guaranteed $3.3 million over the next two years. The Mavs called him “family for life” in a tweet following his release.

Terry would spend much of the 2021-2022 season on a two-way deal with the Memphis Grizzlies. The Grizzlies released him in the subsequent offseason.

Terry logged 13 appearances in NBA games over his career, scoring 13 points. He also played in 29 combined G League games for the Memphis Hustle over the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons.

“To most, I will forever be known as a bust, a failure, or a waste of talent. While those may be true when it comes to basketball, it is the biggest failures in life that lead to the greatest success,” Terry wrote. “There is more for me out in this vast world, and I am extremely excited to be able to explore that. And for the first time, to be able to find my identity outside of being a basketball player.

“I am eternally grateful to those who have believed in me and apologize to those that I have let down. But I’m headed down a different path now, one that will hopefully lead to happiness and being able to love myself again.”

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Will
Will
1 month ago

People who suffer from panic attacks and anxiety are frequently also suffering from hypermobility of the connective tissue in their joints and bodies and disfunction of their autonomic nervous system. He should see a specialist for hypermobility EDS

Rachelle
Rachelle
1 month ago

He will definitely be in my prayers.