Basketball is a popular sport that gives fun and passion. Also, it enhances the self-esteem and skill of a person. Nowadays, this sport is now a game for both men and women. It’s a universal sport known worldwide.
There are numerous successful and skilled basketball players. Thurl Bailey is one of these, being an experienced and all-around man showing not only his expertise in the sport, but also inspiring a lot of aspiring basketball players through the determination and hard work that transpired throughout his basketball journey.
Thurl Lee Bailey was born on April 7, 1961, in Washington, USA. He grew up in the suburbs of Maryland bordering D.C., which has a high crime rate and his basketball career started in high school. Know more information about Thurl Bailey and how basketball honed him to be the person he has become today.
Basketball Career of Thurl Bailey
Thurl Bailey was 14 years old when he saw Julius Erving, an American basketball player who played basketball on TV. It was at that time that he discovered his passion for the sport. As a high school student, he used to play basketball with his peers, where he practiced his skills in this sport.
His parents have always been supportive, and they taught him the value of hard work. Aside from playing basketball consistently, Thurl Bailey ate nutritious foods in the belief that it will further enhance his weight.
In 1983, he attended North Carolina State University as a basketball scholar. This was the beginning of his 16-year basketball journey.
This is also the year where he and the North Carolina State University team got the NCAA Championship, where they beat Hakeem Olajuwon and the University of Houston’s Clyde Drexler. With the exceptional skills that he exhibits during the game, he was selected by the Utah Jazz as their seventh pick draft for NBA.
The Journey Began
This was the beginning of 16 years of his playing professional basketball. Twelve of those years were with the NBA. One of Thurl Lee Bailey’s NBA career highlights is between 1987-1989. These years are also considered his finest NBA seasons, where he was given the nickname “Big T.”
Bailey played for Utah Jazz between 1983-1991, Minnesota Timberwolves between 1991-1993, Panionios B.C. between 1994-1995, Pallacanestro Cantù through 1995-1997, the Olimpia Milano during 1997-1998.
Some of Bailey’s basketball career highlights include NBA All-Rookie First Team, List of NCAA Men’s Division Basketball champions, and First-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference. Bailey set a career record of 11,834 (12.8 ppg) points, 4,718 (5.1 RPG) rebounds, and 1,086 (1.2 bpg) blocks.
Involvement in Community Service
Thurl Bailey engaged in community service by directing youths in basketball camps starting in 1984. He concentrated more on students with severe illnesses. He worked with many charities such as D.A.R.E., Make-A-Wish, the Happy Factory.
Bailey gained numerous awards for serving the community, such as the prestigious NBA Kennedy Community Award in 1989.
His awards in the community service that he accomplishes include the Sigma Gamma Chi Fraternity’s Exemplary Manhood Award, Utah Association for Gifted Children’s Community Service Award, and the Great Salt Lake Council of the Boy Scouts of America’s American Champion Award.
Career After the NBA
After his years of service playing his passion sport, Thurl Bailey acted in several films. His acting career includes Thurl: Forward with New Power in 1994, The Luck of the Irish (2001), The Single Ward (2002), known for David and Goliath (2005), Church Ball (2006), Herbert Holiday (2007), Running with the Pack (2013), and his involvement in the episode of ESPN’s 30 for 30 (2013).
He delivered the opening prayer at the Republican National Convention in 2008. He is also a public speaker and a broadcast analyst for Utah Jazz and at the University of Utah. Thurl Bailey excels in sports, but he also has talents in being an actor, singer, or songwriter.
He still works with various charities such as the Happy Factory, Make-A-Wish, and D.A.R.E. Bailey also continues to be a coach on the Salt Lake City through the private coaching service, CoachUp where it aims to help aspiring students in the field of basketball.
Thurl Bailey truly inspired many people in his generation, but he continues to motivate younger generations not to stop believing in one’s capabilities. With his talents in different fields, no doubt, a lot of industries have opened their hands to Thurl Bailey.