Fort Lewis College gets gem by landing talented Terry

April 20, 2014

Jalen Terry BasketballWhen it came to finding the right college, Jalen Terry of Seward trusted his gut and picked Fort Lewis College in Colorado.

The 6-foot-6, 210-pound shooting guard just concluded a season of prep school at Putnam Science Academy in Connecticut after graduating from Anchorage Christian School in 2013. He was a starter at Putnam, which at one point last year was ranked No. 2 in the country.

Terry received interest from NCAA D1 Quinnipiac, Temple and Princeton among others as well as offers from UNC-Ashville, Tennessee Tech and Abilene Christian among others.

But he spurned them all, committing to D2 Fort Lewis.

“It just felt like the best fit among all my choices,” Terry told me. “Pretty much the coaches were genuine, it’s a winning program and next year’s roster is going to be sick. The coach did a really good job recruiting.”

It might be a surprise to see a men’s player chose D2 over the more attractive D1 label. But Terry wants to ball, not brag.

When he tweeted about his decision, he used #SameGoalDifferentPath.

“There were some D1 schools they were expecting me to play a lot, if not start, but there were a lot more factors,” Terry said. “People don’t even realize what’s involved with the recruiting process. Division I is a business. They look at position and potential more than who you are.”

By going D2, he will get more opportunities to play and perform.

“I’m expected to put up big numbers,” he said. “I like those kinds of challenges.”

Terry’s confidence has reached an all-time high after spending a year at Putnam.

“I loved playing against bigger, stronger, faster players. I think I flourished with that opportunity to go to prep school,” he said. “Mentally, style of play, how to play, not backing down from people, being confident in your own skin. Handles, my shot, defense, I got a thousand times better.”