Tyrell Terry: Former NBA player aged 22 quits basketball citing mental health

Mental health is serious issue but mostly ignored with the victims being mocked. Now young Tyrell Terry, aged just 22, has decided to retire from basketball.

Tyrell seemingly has had a very unpleasant time as he said that the sport led to him experiencing “the darkest times of my life”.

In an Instagram post, he cited overwhelming anxiety as the reason behind his decision. “I decided to let go of the game that has formed a large part of my identity,” said Terry.

“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,” he mentioned.

Explain his case, Terry added that he had reached a point where instead of building him up, it began to destroy him. “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 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.”

“To most, I will be forever known as a bust, a failure, or a waste of talent,” he added.

“While those may be true when it comes to basketball, it is the biggest failures in life that lead to the greatest success.”

Terry said he was looking to explore his identity outside basketball and apologised 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,” he said.

Terry was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks in 2020 following an outstanding college career with Stanford. However he featured just 11 times before moving to the Memphis Grizzlies last season, playing only twice.

“I can’t continue this fight any longer for something I have fallen out of love with,” he wrote on Instagram, who was released by the Grizzlies in the summer.

A reminder of Naomi Osaka episode

Osaka – four-time grand slam champion [two US Open and two Australian Open titles] – is perhaps the most famous case in sports dealing with mental health issues.

The former World No 1 and one of the most marketable athletes of the World has so far won a prize money to the tune of $1,100,796. However, the huge sum of money made through endorsements isn’t part of these figures.

However, these issues, which interrupted her career, mean that Osaka is currently ranked 41 in the Women Tennis Association (WTA) ranking.    

Osaka has reportedly suffered with depression since the 2018 US Open. But the issue came to limelight when, in May 2021 she refused to take part in required press conferences during the French Open and was subsequently fined $15,000 with a threat of expulsion from the tournament.

On May 31, Osaka withdrew from the event to deal with her mental health. Less than a month later, she also pulled out of Wimbledon.

She attempted to come back for the Olympics but the pressure of returning to the limelight was a factor in her third round loss.

In September at the US Open, she lost to Leylah Fernandez and in the process threw her racket three times and received a code violation for firing a ball at the spectators. Afterwards she said “I’m not really sure why” and “recently I feel very anxious when things don’t go my way.”

Osaka then announced she was taking an indefinite break from the sport. Later in 2021, she shared with Victoria’s Secret that she is being helped by therapy, her dog, calming music, and slowing down.

At the 2022 Indian Wells Open, a heckler unsettled Osaka to the point of tears, after which she had to seek therapy. She said the consistent therapy really helped and was better prepared for incidents in the future.

In an interview in May 2022, Osaka shared that while there have been ups and downs, she feels very content with her mental health journey.


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