Credit: Twitter
Credit Twitter

After a 12-year-long career and no less than 15 pro teams, Michael Jenkins decided to call it quits at the age of 34.

In a long Twitter thread, he explained the reasons for his decision, stating that the 2020-21, in which he sat out, was one of the hardest of his life. He futher added that his priorities have changed, after he realized that his family was not being given the attention it deserves.

Jenkins was not selected in the 2008 draft, in spite of his memorable presence at Winthrop college. From 2008 through 2020, the American combo guard offered his services to teams from Italy, Greece, Belgium, Germany, Montenegro and Turkey, with Russia being his last destination (BC Astana and Nizhny Novgorod). A FIBA Europe Cup champion with Reyer Venezia in 2018, Michael Jenkins averaged 11.5 points and 2.6 assists per game in his final year with Nizhny. Originating from Kinston, North Carolina, he also had a shot at the NBA in 2014, when he signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder, who eventually put him on waivers before the season started.

This is what Michael Jenkins wrote on his Twitter account in his farewell note to pro basketball:

"As I sit here writing this caption while holding back tears, I cannot stop thinking about how much the game of basketball has provided for me and my family. I am forever grateful to the game and those along the way that have helped me reach the highest levels possible for myself. Basketball has been my life for two and a half decades.

I have been tirelessly committed to the game from the moment I made it a goal to play collegiately and professionally back in middle school. Which I must admit has caused other areas in my life to suffer. This pandemic has forced me to address weaknesses in my personal life that my commitment to my career allowed me to neglect, half-ass, or gloss over. Being a professional athlete can make you feel invincible. Like everything is all good even when it is not. However, when it is taken away, like what the pandemic did to me, you start to realize everything isn’t all good and your priorities need realigning.

This past season was the first time since I was 8 years old that I was not apart of a team or even on a roster. In turn, this has been one of the hardest years of my life mentally, but it has also shown me a lot. I realized all this time I've been giving all my important energy to the game, truly being committed to it, but I hadn't been reciprocating that same level of commitment and energy to my family. I thought I was, but this year without hoops shed the brightest light on that.

With all of that being said, I am officially stepping away from my professional playing career. This is one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make. If you know me, you know how much I love to play, but my priorities have and need to change. Yesterday being Father's Day brought me even more clarity on my decision. I want to give my family and my transition into my next chapter the commitment and energy they deserve.

To play for 12 years was an enormous blessing, and I'm grateful for every drop of blood, sweat, and tears I shed along the journey. Grateful for every victory, defeat, and lesson learned. Thank you to each and every person who played a role in me having a long career. Big love! Stay passionate!".

Keith Langford commented on the post: "I applaud you for addressing these things head on. You aren’t the only one that’s had to examine those weaknesses fam. All the best to you and your family moving forward! We all have to deal with the end. Your acceptance and perspective will be helpful to many."

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