Terry's time not up

Aug. 24, 2014 @ 12:13 AM

It’s always been like this.

On a Tuesday evening at Aycock Recreation Center, father and daughter go to work. The regimen is much like any of their workouts over the years.

Shauna Terry and her father, Ervin, each are dressed in black gym shorts and purple tops and Ervin dons a backwards purple cap. 

Two-ball drills are a favorite of Ervin Terry, but today there’s only one ball and three chairs.

“It makes you work on both hands, left hand and right at the same time,” he said, “because the majority of people can only dribble with their right hand and can only go their right.”

A volleyball net spans the half of the court nearest Aycock’s entrance and some of the other goals are taken, so Shauna and Ervin Terry set up shop on a side hoop in the corner of the gym.

Shauna dribbles, crossing over each chair; left to right, right to left, then left to right again out of the obstacle course before setting her feet and shooting jumpers from the right elbow.

After a miss, Ervin tells Shauna to follow all the way through before demonstrating the process with the ball in his hand.

She nails the next one.

“It’s been the same since I was a little girl, basically,” said Shauna.

The drills, that started when Shauna was 6, were designed to lead her to college basketball.

They did.

A former three-sport star at Southern Vance, Shauna Terry finished her Western Carolina playing career in March as the program’s career blocks leader.

Shauna Terry averaged 6.7 points her senior season, leading the team in rebounds with 5.1 per contest. She finished with 27 more blocks on the season than the next closest Catamount.

That explains the purple. Ervin Terry wears his Western Carolina gear nearly everywhere he goes. Now, he says he’s ready to trade it in for the royal blue, light blue (and a little red) colors of Buducnost, a professional team in Podgorica, Montenegro.

Shauna Terry recently was signed by the reigning Montenegrin champion and leaves for Europe this week.

“If she goes and does what she’s been taught, she should fit in real well,” said Ervin Terry.

Lessons live on

Ervin Terry never stops teaching and Shauna is still learning lessons from her high school days. Her father recorded most, if not all, of her Southern basketball and volleyball games — even some middle school and rec games, too. They’re still breaking down the tape.

“Most of the time, after the game, if I did good,” said Shauna, “I still got in trouble. If I played bad, I got it even worse.”

Her father laughs, probably because that sounds familiar.

As much as sports play a role in their relationship, the pair is able to separate competition and family.

When the drills stop, the coaching mostly does, too.

“Once we get in the house, all that stuff is out the door until we get in the gym and it’s back to coach,” said Shauna Terry. “We have a pretty good relationship. We crack jokes all the time. We have a good father-daughter relationship.”

Ervin Terry played basketball and football at Vance High, graduating in 1984.

For Shauna, basketball has always been the priority even though she excelled in volleyball and won a 2010 track and field state title in the long jump.

She said her improvement in basketball really began to accelerate when she set the other sports aside.

Not looking back

Ervin Terry plans on attending Shauna’s first Buducnost game. Of course, he won’t be there as often as he attended her stateside games — and yes, he regularly made the nearly five-hour trip west to the mountains of Cullowhee, decked out in purple.

Ervin Terry was so much a fixture at Catamounts’ contests, Shauna had it brought to her attention if he wasn’t immediately spotted in the stands.

He’s still present in the Tri-County area, too, whether coaching or just catching the action. It was Shauna that encouraged her dad to coach other girls’ teams. He leads two rec league teams (ages 7-9 and 10-13) and will serve as an assistant coach for the Northern Vance girls this season.

“I see what it took to her to get away from here and now it’s time to help somebody else,” said Ervin Terry. “That’s why I go to all the games.”

Ervin Terry expects Shauna’s versatility to give her an offensive edge in the pro ranks.

She’s 6-2, three inches shorter than her dad and says defense and rebounding will continue to be her focus.

“I think I’m always going to be a shot blocker,” said Shauna Terry, “but I’ll probably need to be more smart. It’s not like high school or college where you can predict it. Everybody is skilled now.”

Terry currently is the only American on Buducnost’s roster although one more Yank could join the southeastern European team.

Terry embraces the idea of experiencing new cultures and languages (The head coach speaks English.) and the WNBA is not on her radar.

“I just want to stay over there and play,” she said. “It would be nice to come back over here and play in front of my family, but I think it will be a good experience just to stay over there and travel and see the other side of the world.”

Shauna Terry said she’s determined to stay humble and not let success get to her head.

Her father and coach isn’t worried.

“She’s real mature,” said Ervin Terry. “She’ll handle herself well. I’m just hoping the best for her.”

Contact the writer at kholtzman@hendersondispatch.com.