NBA free-agent guard Tyrell Terry announced his retirement from basketball at the age of 22 in an Instagram post on Thursday.
Terry, who was a second-round pick of the Dallas Mavericks in 2020, cited the anxiety that basketball caused him while explaining his decision to step away from the game he’s “fallen out of love with.”
“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.”
A Minneapolis native, Terry starred in his lone season at Stanford in 2019-20, averaging 14.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists while shooting an impressive 40.8% from 3-point range. After earning Pac-12 All-Freshman honors, Terry entered the 2020 NBA Draft and was selected by the Mavericks with the first pick of the second round (No. 31 overall).
As a rookie, the 6-2 guard appeared in 11 games before taking a personal leave that lasted nearly two months. At media day 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.”
Terry then missed all four games during the 2021-22 preseason due to personal reasons before being released by Dallas. The Mavs called him “family for life” in a tweet following his release.
The Memphis Grizzlies signed Terry to a 10-day contract in December 2021 and then inked him to a two-way deal in January 2022. He made two appearances with the Grizzlies that season and was waived the subsequent offseason.
Terry, who logged 13 total NBA appearances, 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.”