See List of Latter-day Saints who are professional basketball players

The early years of Sam Merrill’s professional basketball profession have been crammed with emotional ups and downs, good instances and unhealthy, all wrapped up in an ever-changing panorama.

“It’s positively been a ‘curler coaster’,” he mentioned.

Here’s a fast recap.

  • because the final selection of draft The 2020 NBA season, Merrill spent his freshman yr in Milwaukee and was half of the Bucks’ 2021 championship workforce. “To be half of a championship workforce was wonderful,” he mentioned.
  • A couple of months later, Merrill was bought to the Memphis Grizzlies. He mentioned the state of affairs was wanting promising till he suffered an ankle damage that required surgical procedure and was sidelined.
  • In 2022, the previous Utah State University participant signed with the Sacramento Kings in hopes of being drafted, however was launched earlier than the beginning of the season. “I did lots of good issues, I felt like I put myself in place,” he mentioned. “Didn’t work.”
  • Soon after, Merrill’s first selection was draft from the NBA G-League (minor league) by the Cleveland Charge, a G-League workforce affiliated with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“Now we’re right here in Cleveland. It’s been a loopy expertise with lots of ups and downs,” Merrill mentioned in a phone interview with Church News. “But I really feel like I’ve actually grown as an individual.” . I feel general it has been good for me.

Sam Merrill of the Cleveland Charge of the NBA’s G-League holds his chest through the US nationwide anthem earlier than their sport in opposition to the Westchester Knicks on January 2, 2023.

President Nelson’s Fishing Council

Because of her expertise with the ups and downs, Merrill particularly appreciated President Russell M. Nelson’s social media message for the brand new yr 2023, which is about being affected person, persistent and at all times praying. The classes the prophet and president of the Church discovered whereas deep-sea fishing apply on to Merrill’s state of affairs.

Merrill mentioned, “I feel to be trustworthy, these have been the three issues I’ve tried most to keep up by way of these ups and downs.” “Stay engaged, work arduous, preserve working and go for it; Being affected person with your self and the individuals round you and understanding that we are able to solely management sure issues at this stage. I am unable to management the selections the groups wish to make, so I simply have to offer my finest and let the chips fall the place they need.

Of the three items of recommendation, the participant mentioned, prayer has been a very powerful.

“I’m not begging for one thing grand. I’m not particularly asking to remain within the NBA or signal a long-term contract,” Merrill mentioned. “I’m solely asking what’s finest for me. I imagine so long as I do my half, it could not work out the best way I hope, however it’ll at all times work out as a result of it is for us.” That’s what it desires.

life within the g-league

The NBA’s G-League reminds Merrill of faculty basketball in some methods.

Unlike the NBA, G-League groups fly industrial flights to distant areas, typically in small planes, often adopted by bus rides. They don’t remain in 5 star lodges and their meals funds can be much less.

While it hasn’t been as flashy or spectacular, for Meryl it has been a “blessing”. He didn’t have a lot involvement on the court docket as a freshman within the NBA and missed a number of months of motion after present process ankle surgical procedure throughout his sophomore yr.

“It’s been a blessing to have the ability to exit and play once more,” he mentioned. “Being able the place I can exit and play … necessary minutes and have the ball in my fingers. … It’s been nice for me. I’ve grown lots in the previous few months. … I like to play.

Merrill additionally has the benefit of serving a full-time mission in Nicaragua for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“I at all times inform those that nothing I do on the basketball court docket can be as tough as my expertise on the market. I can run and run and do conditioning, all these issues, however the mission is basically It was actually powerful bodily and emotionally,” he mentioned. “The ups and downs of it positively apply to what I’m attempting to do right here.”

Merrill expressed gratitude to his spouse Kanyon, their 8-month-old daughter, and his household for supporting him and permitting him to pursue his basketball profession.

Latter-day Saints within the NBA G-League

Merrill is one of 4 Latter-day Saints taking part in within the NBA’s G-League. The different three are: Justin Bean, Frank Jackson and Eric Mika.

Justin Bean: Bean is averaging 10 factors, 6.6 rebounds and one help per sport this season for the Memphis Hustle affiliate workforce of Merrill’s former teammate at Utah State University, the Memphis Grizzlies. Bean, a descendant of Willard Bean,”preventing preacher, [O Pregador Lutador]served a mission in reno,

frank jackson: After taking part in for New Orleans and Detroit within the NBA, the previous Duke University and Lone Peak High School participant is averaging 20.5 factors per sport for the Salt Lake City Stars.

Eric Mika: Since serving a mission in Rome, Italy, and leaving Brigham Young University, the 7-foot-1 energy ahead has performed professionally in Italy, Germany, China, Serbia and France. In 2019–20, he was signed by the G-League workforce Stockton Kings, an affiliate of the Sacramento Kings. This yr, Micah is averaging 12.8 factors, 8.4 rebounds and three assists per sport for the G-League Ignite in Henderson, Nevada.

Latter-day Saints Playing Abroad

  • Brendan BaileyThe son of former NBA participant Thurl Bailey, he’s averaging 18.1 factors per sport for BC Lulia of Sweden. Bailey served a mission in Washington, D.C. and performed faculty basketball at Marquette University in Wisconsin.
  • Elijah BryantA former BYU participant, he’s averaging 16 factors per sport for Turkey’s Anadolu Efes. He and Merrill have been on the identical workforce when Milwaukee defeated Phoenix within the 2021 NBA Finals. Bryant additionally helped Maccabi Tel Aviv clinch the Israeli league title in 2020 and was a key contributor for Anadolu Efes as they gained the Euroleague title.
  • yoeli childs Veolia Towers is a beginning participant for Hamburg, Germany, and is averaging 11 factors per sport. The former BYU winger beforehand performed in his house state for the Utah Jazz’s NBA G-League affiliate, the Salt Lake City Stars.
  • Kyle Collinsworth San-En performs for NeoPhoenix within the Japan B1 League. The former BYU star, who as soon as performed within the NBA for the Dallas Mavericks, traveled to Russia on responsibility. He is married to former BYU and All-America observe star Shea Martinez.
  • Brandon DavisThe former BYU participant is taking part in for Italy’s Olympia Milano after years in Spain, Lithuania, Monaco and spending brief intervals within the NBA with the Brooklyn Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers. He pinned a scripture to him from the Book of Mormon, Alma 26:12 Twitter account [em inglês],
  • conner harding, who performed for Utah Valley University and BYU, performs for WWU Baskets Münster within the BARMER ProA Bundesliga in Münster, Germany. A local of Pocatello, Idaho, he served a mission in Atlanta, Georgia. His spouse, former BYU star Paisley Johnson Harding, performs for the GiroLive-Panthers Osnabrück. toyota first girls’s basketball bundesliga,
  • zack seljas Plays for Tigers Tübingen of Germany. The 2-meter-tall former BYU participant has additionally performed professionally for groups from the Czech Republic and Georgia. He served a mission in Iowa.
  • parker van dyke Plays within the beginning line-up and averages 16.5 factors per sport for the Römerström Gladiators Trier of Germany’s Pro League. The former University of Utah level guard served one mission for Alabama.

at present no workforce

Two last-day saints not at present on a workforce embrace former Duke star Jabari Parker and BYU legend Jimmer Fredette.

Parker was chosen because the No. 2 general decide. draft The 2014 NBA participant has performed on a number of NBA groups through the years, most not too long ago in Boston through the 2021-2022 season. He at present performs with a free move.

Fredette handed by way of a number of NBA groups earlier than taking part in in Greece and China in recent times. he informed the Deseret News [em inglês] Joe plans to qualify for and compete for the United States within the 3×3 basketball match on the 2024 Paris Olympics after successful the FIBA ​​3×3 AmeriCup in November 2022.

Jaycee Carroll jersey retired at Utah State University

Another professional who not performs is Jesse Carroll, a former Utah State participant famend for his correct pictures.

The Wyoming native performed professionally in Europe for 13 seasons earlier than retiring from professional basketball in 2021. During that point, Carroll has been half of two Euroleague titles, 5 Spanish league championships, six Copas del Rey, six Supercups and one FIBA ​​Intercontinental Cup.

Carroll, who served a tour of responsibility in Chile, could have his No. 20 jersey retired on the halftime ceremony between USU and Nevada on February 18.

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