Dallas Mavericks draft pick retires from basketball, cites mental health struggles

Tyrell Terry says he developed anxiety from playing basketball during “the darkest times of my life."

The Dallas Mavericks’ 2020 draft pick Tyrell Terry is retiring from basketball after two seasons, WFAA reports.

On Thursday, Terry, 22, shared on Instagram that he developed anxiety from playing basketball during “the darkest times of my life,” and this caused him to fall out of love with the sport. In his post to fans and social media followers, he also cites mental health issues as the reason for his retirement. 

Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Quinn Cook #2, Jared Dudley #10, and Montrezl Harrell #15 of the Los Angeles Lakers guard Tyrell Terry #1 of the Dallas Mavericks in the second half at Staples Center on Dec. 25, 2020, in Los Angeles. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

“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,” he said in the post. 

“While I have achieved amazing accomplishments, created unforgettable memories, and made lifelong friends…I’ve also experienced the darkest times of my life,” Terry wrote in his IG message. “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.”

In the 2020 NBA Draft, the Dallas Mavericks selected Terry first in the second round. He played 11 games during one season before the team released him in October 2021. The Memphis Grizzlies picked him up for the 2021–2022 season. Despite signing a two-way deal with the team in January 2022, Terry was released in July. He will not play for any team in the 2022–2023 season.

Terry said the physical toll of anxiety will not allow him to “continue this fight any longer.”

“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 wrote. “This is just a brief description of the anxiety this sport has caused me.”

Terry goes on to express gratitude for “every door” that opened for him thanks to his professional sports career but admits that he has “fallen out of love” with basketball.

Terry will embark on a new path that he hopes will help him find “my identity outside of being a basketball player,” he said in his Instagram post. 

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