NBRPA Vice Chairman Thurl Bailey named ambassador by Utah governor

May 23, 2013

Former NBA star and NBRPA Vice Chairman Thurl Bailey has become a jack of all trades, adding ambassador to his already impressive resume.

On May 20, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert named Bailey ambassador to Utah’s refugee community. Bailey will serve as a liaison between Herbert and the refugee community in Utah, allowing them to receive greater assistance and support from the state government.

Following his acceptance of the new post, Bailey expressed confidence in his ability to succeed as ambassador.

"When you have the title of ambassador, that's a really broad title in every sense of the word as far as responsibility goes,” Bailey told the Deseret News. “I want to make sure I live up to it.”

Since his exit from professional basketball in 1999, Bailey has taken on many different roles. He is a public speaker, broadcast analyst, a singer/songwriter, as well as an actor and political activist. Bailey has also committed himself to community service, receiving numerous awards for his outstanding work in trying to improve the Utah community. He now has a sizeable task ahead of him, helping serve a growing community of refugees.

According to the Utah Department of Workforce Services, over 46,000 refugees have settled in Utah since 1988 – 70 percent of which are women and children. Unlike immigrants, refugees receive their status as a refugee from the United States government. Immigrants leave their homes in search of economic prosperity, while refugees seek to relocate from areas ravaged by war and human rights violations, according to the DWS. The refugees are then brought to the United States by the government. Refugees come from many countries, including Ethiopia, Iraq, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

Expressing his excitement for his new role, Bailey tweeted, “Honored to be @governorherbert's ambassador to Utah's refugee community. Excited for the opportunity! #refugees.”

For more on Thurl Bailey's appointment as ambassador, please visit DesertNews.com