Arizona Wildcat Dalen Terry made his debut just two weeks after LeBron James graced the Adidas King Drew Magnet High School basketball court in Drew League ProAm regular season play.
The Chicago Bulls selected Dalen Terry with the 18th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. At LoLo’s Chicken and Waffles in Scottsdale, Arizona, Terry had a celebration with his parents by his side and many family and friends in attendance. Except for myself, most people thought he would be selected much later in the draft.
The head coach of the Chicago Bulls, Billy Donovan, outlined why Terry was a superb draft choice, “The one thing that really stuck out is simply his energy, his passion and his willingness to want to learn, get better, and improve. If you talk to anyone about Dalen, his passion, competitiveness, and will to win come through loud and clear.”
The BoxandOne.com assessed Terry’s skills in this way: “Terry is the first player since the NCAA started recording advanced stats in 2007 to play 1000 minutes in a season with his level of an assist rate, low of a turnover rate, Defensive Box Plus-Minus, and shoot 50 percent from the field. His combinations of playmaking without mistakes, defensive impact and efficient scoring makes him scalable as an elite role player.”
It’s not always obvious why a team would be interested in what Dalen’s game has to offer or why he is such an asset. But watching him play from behind the basket, you can tell he is a glue guy who has a high motor and doesn’t give up on a play. He keeps the ball alive, and the opportunity for him and his teammates to score.
On top of his skills, his presence is contagious. He is mostly smiling when not playing, he’s also talking to everyone, the fans, the refs, his teammates, the bench, and his opponents. This is all par for the course at the Drew League. An NBA Videographer leaned over to me during the game and asked, “Even the referees talk crap?” Yes, they do. Covering the Drew League each summer is truly a joy, especially when I see an Arizona Wildcat playing.
At one point during the game, Dalen, straight-faced, spoke very loudly after a foul was called, “I am really enjoying this!” He also broke into a dance on the court during a short break and spoke to his mom and friends who were sitting on the sideline and behind the basket next to me.
Terry is a genuine young guy who, like at Arizona, is very sociable and acts unapologetically before, during, and after his game. He is just a delight to watch and support. I was wearing a tank top to support Dalen when he noticed the “Publicly Private” logo on it. Dalen graciously offered to take a selfie with me after the game, something I will never forget. Note to Athletes pursuing NIL profits: Have a tank top in your line; women prefer tank tops!
Here are the highlights of the game…