Salt Lake Community College students had the pleasure of hearing ex-Utah Jazz player Thurl Bailey deliver a motivational talk last Thursday at the Student Event Center on the Taylorsville Redwood Campus. The event was co-sponsored by Student Life & Leadership, Asian Student Association, Pacific Unity Association and the Black Student Union.
Bailey played professional basketball for 17 years, three of which were in Italy. Now he is a TV commentator for the Jazz and a motivational speaker.
“I’m going to talk about potential,” he said to open his address. “I have to believe in the subject. The question is, do you believe in it?” Bailey asked the audience.
A talented musician, Bailey then sang a song that he had written. He then talked about learning from your mistakes and the role that basketball has played in his life.
“Basketball was a tool to help me get where I wanted to go,” Bailey said.
He went on to tell how when he was a kid he was not allowed to bring home lower than a C grade. He told about how he never picked up a basketball until he was 13 and how his dad made him a homemade basketball hoop out of a plastic trash can. Though he started playing the sport at a later age, he related ot the audience how his dad got him hooked on basketball and how it became his passion.
Because it was his passion, he thought that trying out for the junior high basketball team was a good opportunity, but he did not make the team the first two years he tried out.
He talked to the audience about how many people don’t do things because of the potential for failure. Then he talked about trying to do what you failed at over and over again until you succeed. He tried to relay to the audience to go after what they are passionate about.
Students were there for a variety of reasons.
“Every year, the American Chemical Society, which the Chemistry Club is a member of, does a tree at the Festival of Trees for Primary Childrens Hospital,” Sarah Moore, a pre-med student said. “We do a sports memorabilia theme. We brought a couple of basketballs to have Thurl Bailey sign. Last year our tree was the highest selling one.”
There were also a few old fans in attendance to listen to Bailey’s talk.
“I really liked watching him (Bailey) play when I was little,” Areyan Golmohammadl, political science student said.
Baileys talk was entertaining for the audience and carried a positive message for the students.