Thurl Bailey
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Thurl Bailey
Key Topics:
  • Basketball
  • Motivation
  • Teamwork
  • Christian Athlete
  • Bio Info:
    Retired basketball star, Thurl Bailey, was born on April 7, 1961 in Washington, D.C. Bailey's basketball career has spanned from 1983 to 1999 with the Utah Jazz and the Minnesota Timberwolves.

    Thurl Bailey (nicknamed "Big T") attended North Carolina State University and was a key player in the Wolfpack's miracle run to the 1983 NCAA Championship. That same year, under head coach Jim Valvano, he led the Wolfpack in both scoring and rebounds. The Utah Jazz selected him as the 7th pick of the 1983 NBA Draft. Jazz management reported that he was selected for the quality of his character, as well as the quality of his game. This was the beginning of 16 years of his playing professional basketball, 12 of those years were with the NBA.

    On November 25, 1991, Bailey was traded by the Jazz along with a 1992 second-round draft pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Tyrone Corbin. There he played for almost three seasons until 1994, when he left the NBA and played in the Greek League (playing for Panionios) for the 1994-95 season[1]. From 1995 to 1998 he played in the Italian League for Polti Cantù in 1995-97 and Stefanel Milano in 1997-98[1], before returning to the Jazz as a free agent on January 21, 1999. He retired after the end of 1998-99 season.

    At 6'11", Thurl Bailey is often first noticed as a basketball player, but he is a man of as much depth as height. His strong sense of service has led to countless hours of volunteer work and to numerous awards for leadership and contributions to the community. 

    Included in his awards are: the NBA's prestigious Kennedy Community Award, the Utah Association for Gifted Children's Community Service Award, Sigma Gamma Chi fraternity's Exemplary Manhood Award, the Great Salt Lake Council of the Boy Scouts of America's American Champion Award and the Italian League's 1998 All Star Games Most Valuable Player. He has directed basketball camps for youth since 1984 where he teaches young people lessons about life and basketball. Many of his students have special needs including coming from disadvantaged backgrounds or having serious illnesses, and they attend the camps on scholarship.

    In addition to being a professional speaker, Thurl Bailey is a broadcast analyst for the Utah Jazz and the University of Utah, an actor, and an award winning singer/song writer. His first album, Faith In Your Heart, was a compilation of uplifting songs that won several top awards. His latest CD, I'm Not The Same was released October 2002 with great reviews and is a fusion of original style R&B and Nu Soul. He is a devoted family man and the father of five children. He and his wife Sindi live in Salt Lake City, Utah with their three youngest children. On December 31st 1995, while playing basketball in Italy, Bailey joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He frequently appears as an inspirational speaker at Mormon events.

    Although he lives with three of his children, Bailey has Six all together. Aside from his three youngest children Bailey has two sons, Thurl Bailey, Jr. who plays college basketball at St. Andrews University, and TeVaun Bailey from his first marriage and his oldest child, daughter, Chonell Stanley. Chonell was born to Bailey's college sweetheart in 1981. Chonell, 26, is married to her college sweetheart, Charles Stanley. They have three children, Qaleb, Kayla and Qaron Stanley who love their "Paw Paw" Thurl very much.

    In 2008 Thurl Bailey gave the opening prayer at the Republican National Convention.


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