photo courtesy of Matt Henrich
Thurl Bailey, a 6-foot-11-inch NBA star from the ‘80s and ‘90s, grew up in Washington D.C. and was raised a Baptist. He moved to Utah after being drafted by the Utah Jazz in 1983.
Six years later, while hosting a basketball camp for underprivileged youth, the Utah Jazz player met Sindi Southwick—a beautiful, 6-foot Mormon basketball player for Utah Valley State College. The two dated for several years and married in 1994.
As Bailey’s NBA career was coming to an end, he got an offer to play basketball in Italy. He accepted, and in 1995, he flew to Italy ahead of his wife to find housing. While there, he contacted the LDS missionaries. After several discussions, Bailey surprised his wife by calling to tell her he wanted to be baptized. At the end of 1995, Bailey was baptized by his father-in-law in Italy. In 1997, Thurl and Sindi Bailey were sealed in the Bern Switzerland Temple.