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Thurl Bailey, Forward APRIL 11, 1983

Nov. 03, 2003
Nov. 03, 2003

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Nov. 3, 2003

Thurl Bailey, Forward APRIL 11, 1983

Four years after retiring from the NBA, former Utah Jazz forward
Thurl Bailey is juggling four new professions. Bailey the
baritone has performed three times with the Utah Symphony and
released three CDs (total sales topping 100,000), the latest a
silky R&B compilation, I'm Not the Same, that came out in
February 2003. Bailey the television broadcaster does color
commentary for Jazz and University of Utah games on Salt Lake
City station KJZZ. Bailey the businessman is part-owner of a
company that developed and sells a system for spreading
fertilizer through sprinkler systems. But it's Bailey the
motivational speaker, at up to $10,000 a pop, who pays the bills.

This is an article from the Nov. 3, 2003 issue Original Layout

Bailey makes more than 160 appearances annually, energizing
corporate crowds with speeches on teamwork and triumph. Whenever
appropriate, he mixes music into his presentations. At a real
estate conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, in September, he cajoled
several brokers in the audience into joining him onstage. "I told
them I wanted to take my show on the road and I needed my
Thurlettes backing me up," says Bailey. "We sang together. I
talked. We had a good time."

Bailey's apprenticeship as a motivator began at N.C. State in the
early 1980s, when he and his teammates gathered around coach Jim
Valvano, the master of the locker room pep talk. "When he arrived
in my sophomore year, we didn't know who this little Italian guy
was," says Bailey, "but Coach V sure talked a good talk. He made
us believe."

As a senior the inspired Bailey led the Wolfpack in scoring
(16.7) and rebounding (7.7). After winning the ACC tournament in
March 1983, N.C. State upset UNLV and Virginia in the NCAAs
before defeating Houston, the Phi Slamma Jamma team that featured
Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon, in the championship game.

Three months later Utah made Bailey, a 6'11" small forward with a
lethal jump hook, the No. 7 pick in the draft. In 12 NBA seasons,
2 1/2 with the Minnesota Timberwolves, he averaged 13.1 points
and 5.1 rebounds a game but made his mark as an unselfish,
high-scoring sixth man on the Jazz, one of the best passing teams
in the league.

Born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Seat Pleasant, Md.,
Bailey, 42, is now firmly rooted in Salt Lake City. He joined the
Mormon church in 1995 and lives in the Cottonwood area with his
wife of nine years, Sindi, and their two children, BreElle, 8,
and Brendan, 6. (Bailey also has two sons from his first
marriage, Thurl Jr., 18, and Tevaun, 13, who live in North
Carolina with their mother.) "I've worked hard to make my dreams
come true," says Bailey, who was a torchbearer for the Salt Lake
City Olympics and sang at several venues during the Games. "My
mission is to use my experience to inspire people, to help them
make changes in their lives too." --Luis Fernando Llosa

COLOR PHOTO: ANDY HAYT (COVER) TOWERING Bailey (cover, center) is a Salt Lake fixture.COLOR PHOTO: GEORGE FREY [See caption above]

A former N.C. State and NBA standout, Bailey has put his voice to
work as a singer, commentator and motivational speaker.