HOLLY POND —
In the days after the Holly Pond girls basketball team secured a state runner-up finish, senior standout Taylor Terry simply could not shake her funk.
Her illustrious prep career had just come to a close, she had yet to receive a college offer, and she had come to the realization that, in just a few short months, she’d be saying goodbye to all the friends, teammates and sisters she’d acquired as a member of the Broncos’ basketball and volleyball squads.
But then came a text message from coach Scott Adams letting Terry know Snead State was interested. Next came a tryout, and the fog began to lift. And last came an offer, the final step needed to return the teenager to her usually upbeat attitude.
Surrounded by family, teammates, coaches and an administrator Friday afternoon at the Holly Pond High library, Terry was all smiles as she officially signed a letter of intent to attend and play basketball at Snead State.
“I love basketball, but I love having the teammates and the family members, the bond you make with your team,” the newest Parson said. “I just really knew that I was going to miss that a lot, and now I have an opportunity to make a new bond with my new teammates. I’m just excited I get to still play the sport I love.”
Terry was far from the only one bearing a mile-wide grin, either, with a beaming Adams standing over the senior’s shoulder as she officially penned her autograph on the dotted line. As Terry’s basketball coach over the last four years, Adams watched the forward develop into a leader on and off the court who was able to contribute both in the post and at the 3-point line.
“If you’re a coach, you want your kids to have an opportunity to go to the next level,” he said. “You’re proud for several reasons — No. 1, for her. She’s worked hard to get where she’s at. And No. 2, it’s a great standard for our program. I think it really paves the way for other girls to be inspired to work that hard.”
Terry’s future coach, Jarrod Plummer, was also in attendance at Friday’s signing festivities. After watching Terry play three times throughout the season, he said he realized she was a keeper during her first visit to the Boaz campus, where she participated in a workout and scrimmage.
“It was her work ethic that sealed the deal with me,” said the coach, who’s spent four seasons with the Parsons. “Just to see that she was already working like the college athletes would work versus the high school kids that don’t understand the next level of play yet.”
Terry was aware some college coaches shied away from her because of her slower foot speed, but the soon-to-be graduate said she’s willing to do whatever it takes to improve that aspect of her game, which is exactly what her future coach wants to hear. Plummer said he plans to use Terry outside to stretch opponents’ defenses, as well as in the post when presented with mismatches.
More important than anything basketball-related, though, he’s thrilled to be adding a “good, quality kid” to his latest class.
“Her academics are where they’re supposed to be,” Plummer said. “I was actually surprised I even had a chance of getting her. I though some four-year schools would be a little more in here on her because she can shoot the 3 and she’s 5’11”.
“I think if she comes in and works hard and does what she’s going to mature, she’s going to mature, become a little bit quicker, a lot stronger and develop to where those four-year coaches will be knocking on the door for her later on.”
Though Terry has spent the better part of the last four years inside the friendly confines of the Felton Easterwood Gymnasium, it didn’t take long to feel right at home at Snead State’s Plunkett-Wallace Gymnasium.
“Right when I started playing the first time, I was like, ‘I’m where I need to be,’” she said. “I just felt so comfortable playing on the floor with them.”
% Rob Ketcham can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 257 or at email@example.com.