Former Utah Jazz power forward to speak at church


thurl-bailey-2Former basketball pro and inspirational speaker Thurl Bailey will offer a public devotional at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1618 Broadway Drive.

Bailey’s devotional is part of the Southeast Young Single Adult Conference.

About 350 Mormons are attending the conference this weekend, much of which is being held at the Thad Cochran Center on the University of Southern Mississippi campus.

Bailey was drafted by the Utah Jazz as the seventh overall pick of the 1983 NBA draft. He spent 12 of his 16-year professional basketball career in the NBA and four years playing overseas in Italy and Greece.

He averaged double figures in scoring in 8 of his seasons in the NBA. Bailey reached a career high of 19.6 ppg for the Jazz in 1987-88.

He appeared in total of 928 NBA games (229 started), holding career averages of 12.8 ppg, 1.2 bpg and 5.1 rpg in 26.8 minutes per game.

Bailey is also an inspirational singer and songwriter. His first album, “Faith in Your Heart,” was released in 2000 and was a best-seller.

His second album, “The Gift of Christmas,” released the following year, also experienced successful record sales. His newly-released CD, “I’m Not the Same,” is a selection of uplifting R&B tunes.

Bailey’s many awards include the NBA’s prestigious J. Walter Kennedy Community Service Award and the Italian League’s 1998 All Star Games’ Most Valuable Player.

Among his many musical awards are the 2000 Pearl Awards of Best Contemporary Recording and Best New Artist of the Year.

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