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NBA draft pick retires from basketball citing anxiety, calls it ‘the darkest times’ of his life

By Jacob Lev, CNN

Tyrell Terry, a 2020 NBA draft pick of the Dallas Mavericks, has announced his retirement from basketball, citing anxiety.

In an Instagram post on Thursday, the 22-year-old Terry called it “the darkest times” of his life while describing the anxiety basketball caused him.

“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 in the post.

“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.”

Terry was drafted by the Mavericks with the 31st overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft out of Stanford. The guard played one year for the Cardinal. He was named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team in his lone season.

Terry appeared in 11 games for Dallas during his rookie season but was waived in October 2021. Terry then signed with the Memphis Grizzlies and appeared in two games for the team last season before being waived in the offseason.

“To most, I will be forever known as a bust, a failure, or a waste of talent,” Terry continued. “While those may be true when it comes to basketball, it is the biggest failures in life that lead to the greatest success. 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.”

Recently, Terry appeared in 29 games for the Grizzlies’ G-League affiliate, the Memphis Hustle, and averaged 13.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game.

Terry concluded, “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.”

CNN contacted the Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies and the NBA for comment but did not immediately get a response at time of publication.

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