22-year-old NBA player is retiring from basketball because of his mental health

Claire Reid

| Last updated 

22-year-old NBA player is retiring from basketball because of his mental health

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

NBA star Tyrell Terry has announced he’s retiring at just 22, after suffering with extreme anxiety caused by the sport.

In a heartfelt message on social media, Terry said basketball had been a ‘large part of my identity’ but that it had a hugely negative impact on his mental health.


“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.

“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.”

Terry was the first pick of the second round by the Dallas Mavericks during the 2020 NBA Draft - he’d been a standout player while at college in Stanford.

In his post he went on to detail the physical symptoms his anxiety had caused.

“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,” he went on.

“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 finished his post by apologising to his fans and expressing his gratitude for their support, before saying he was hoping to go down a ‘different path’ that will ‘lead to happiness’.

Tyrell Terry. Credit:  European Sports Photo Agency / Alamy Stock Photo
Tyrell Terry. Credit: European Sports Photo Agency / Alamy Stock Photo

He added: “To most, I will be forever 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. 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 apologise 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.”

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, please don’t suffer alone. Call Samaritans for free on their anonymous 24-hour phone line on 116 123

Topics: News, Sport, Mental Health, Basketball

Claire Reid
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