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Jerryd Bayless Earns College Degree From University Of Arizona

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager


Jerryd Bayless left the University of Arizona after his freshman year in 2008. He declared for the NBA Draft and that ended up being a wise decision considering he was the 11th overall pick.

Eleven years later, here Bayless is, getting his degree from the school. While he didn't get the traditional college experience, he still got the education.

“This was always the goal,” Bayless said via the Star Tribune. “I left after my freshman year, but … I knew I had to do it. It was just a matter of when I was going to do it.”

Bayless majored in African-American Studies.

It’s quite the achievement. Graduating from the University of Arizona is obviously a milestone, but for Bayless to stay focused on his degree even though he’s pretty well set as a professional basketball player is even more impressive.  

This is something that was a family value for Bayless. Sports wasn’t the main focus growing up. Education was.

“Education was always the singular focus of my house, and I was the black sheep of the family in terms of athletics,” Bayless said. “No one really played sports. My mom and dad, they encouraged me and loved me for doing it. But that was never the push in my house.” 

Bayless was able to learn about something he’s passionate about, and he positioned himself well for his post-NBA career. It also serves as a good example for younger players in the NBA. While basketball is a huge opportunity, most careers, if lucky, only last a little more than a decade. Setting yourself up for success, while challenging, is a smart move. 

Hats off to Bayless for his hard work and dedication paying off.     

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