SAN FRANCISCO — Calling it the most difficult choice he’s ever made, former Stanford star Tyrell Terry has decided to walk away from his NBA dreams as he continues to battle anxiety.
Terry burst onto the Pac-12 scene after a heralded prep career in the Minneapolis area. He earned All-Pac 12 freshman honors, averaging 14.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.4 steals per game.
While his overall game was attractive to NBA scouts, it was his accuracy on the offensive end that was the most eye opening. He hit 40.8 percentage from the 3-point line and team-high 89.1 free throw percentage.
At the end of the collegiate season, Terry entered the NBA draft — the first one-and-done player for the Cardinal program.
But after being taken as No. 31 pick in the 2020 draft by the Dallas Mavericks, success on the professional level was fleeting. He spent time with both the Mavs and the Memphis Grizzlies.
Away from the court, his battle with anxiety was becoming overwhelming.
“While I have achieved amazing accomplishments, created unforgettable memories, and made lifelong friends…I’ve also experienced the darkest times of my life,” Terry posted on his Instagram page. “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.”
As his battle intensified, the symptoms took control of his life.
“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 wrote 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 wrote he knows many with not understand his decision.
“To most, I will be forever known as a bust, a failure, or a waste of talent,” he wrote in the post. “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’m headed down a different path now, one that will hopefully lead to happiness and being able to love myself again.”