Bandirma's Terry wants to win, and have fun doing it
BANDIRMA (Turkey) - Two equally strong forces are driving Emanuel Terry, the Teksüt Bandirma forward/center who has turned heads around Europe with his remarkable efficiency and an admirable ability to single-handedly produce a highlight reel in each game of his first-ever Basketball Champions League season.
I want to either show the crowd something they haven't seen before or try to do something in a new way - Emanuel Terry
On the one hand, the 23-year-old Alabama native, who describes himself as 'a little bit goofy', is a young man who loves having fun at work.
"I enjoy what I do so much, I don't see basketball as a 9 to 5 job," Terry told championsleague.basketball
"I want to either show the crowd something they haven't seen before or try to do something in a new way. It's my first year overseas and I want to bring something different to the table. I don't have to touch the ball a lot to make plays, so when I get the chance to get involved, I try to make my presence known.
"My teammates are a great part of that because they help me to be in the right place at the right time so I can showcase my talent and be a force on both ends of the court."
Both [Dwyane Wade and Jamal Crawford] are so smart and see things that others don't see and they both told me to make sure I never count myself out - Emanuel Terry
And when Terry's potential is unleashed, the second motivational force becomes evident. This is a player who takes his trade extremely seriously and is being held accountable by basketball royalty.
"Dwyane Wade was a huge influence on me, he is a very humble person. When I was in Miami he told me that he loved my mindset and my approach to the game, and that I should never be discouraged," Terry said.
"I've also been around Jamal Crawford [at the Phoenix Suns] when I was nervous and I wasn't really sure what was going to happen next, and he was a real professional and a great human being.
"Both those guys are so smart and see things that other people in basketball don't see. They both told me to make sure I never count myself out. I keep in touch with them to this day and I aim to prove to them, to my family, to people close to me that I can make it and be the best player I can be."
Coach [Hakan] Demir taught me the mechanics of the game over here and how I should shape my game to find my spots, how to change my defensive habits to anchor our defense - Emanuel Terry
Terry would not have been able to showcase in the BCL his hard rolls to the basket, his ability to dunk over people or to deny them at the rim, if he hadn't adapted to the European game so rapidly since joining Bandirma at the start of the season.
"I see myself as a sponge, I try to see a difference in my game each month, to be a little better than last month. It took me a little time to adjust when I came here, but knowing that people count on me made me push myself harder," Terry said.
"The toughest part was that there is no defensive three seconds, the paint gets clogged up compared with the States, where there is more space.
"But coach [Hakan] Demir taught me the mechanics of the game over here and how I should shape my game to find my spots, how to change my defensive habits to anchor our defense.
Everybody has their own way of playing the game and if there was a stat sheet charting hustle plays, mine would be through the roof - Emanuel Terry
"I feel that the paint is my kingdom and I want to impact the game in whatever way I can, even if I score zero points I will make sure I have all the hustle plays, I get the rebounds, that I make a contribution to winning in all sorts of ways."
"Everybody has their own way of playing the game and if there was a stat sheet charting hustle plays, mine would be through the roof."
.@EmanuelTerry08 went for 12PTS & 12REB against Rasta Vechta. He has grabbed 10+ rebounds in each of his last three #BasketballCL games, best current run for a player. 🔥 @bandirmabk pic.twitter.com/ujWwlJoQox— Basketball Champions League (@BasketballCL) November 16, 2019
Terry finished the BCL Regular Season as the league's second-leading rebounder with 9.9 boards per game, averaging a league third-highest efficiency rating of 20.1 per game. His contribution was instrumental to Bandirma's strong final stretch, which saw the Turkish team finish at 8-6 in the highly contested Group B and earn a spot in the Play-Offs.
"We knew coming in that it was going to be tough, we have a young group of guys and we had a lot of expectations for each other, We came every day ready to work and no matter what opponents we faced, we went in with the same mindset, we didn't make any excuses and our coaches put us in a great position to succeed. It was a pleasure to advance to the Play-Offs by beating the odds," the 23-year-old American said.
We might not be perfect, but we have great players and we always bring it, especially when we have to - Emanuel Terry
"There are a lot of rollercoasters in this business, but we tried to be as consistent as possible and be ready to strike whenever the opportunity presented itself."
Terry believes that Bandirma's youthful disregard for anything but the present time is exactly what could fuel an upset against ERA Nymburk in their Round of 16 series that tips off on Tuesday.
The Czech champions won Group C on a league-best 12-2 record, had the highest defensive rating among all 32 teams in the Regular Season and of course they secured homecourt advantage in the Play-Offs.
"I have heard about their stats and I've been told they are a very good team but my mindset is that those don't matter so much if you have the proper approach," the Bandirma big man said.
"Any team, no matter its record, can come out and steal a win with the right approach. If anyone thinks they can count us out because we had a worse record, they'd better think twice. We might not be perfect always, but we have great players and we always bring it, especially when we have to.
"I love our fans, I love playing in front of our home crowd, but no matter where we play you can always count on me to bring my best. So even without homecourt advantage, we will be well prepared to come out and handle business."