Flint Beecher’s Terry named AP Division 3 boys top player
FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Flint Beecher has been a state basketball powerhouse for years, but the last decade has seen the Buccaneers become just as well known for the individual talent they have produced, the latest of which is junior guard Jalen Terry.
Terry was named The Associated Press Division 3 boys Player of the Year after voting by a panel of nine sports writers, giving a Beecher player the award for the fifth time in nine years. He joins three-time winner Monte Morris and Malik Ellison as Players of the Year from Beecher since 2011.
That’s an unprecedented run of success for a school that also produced the likes of Carl Banks, Roy Marble, Courtney Hawkins, Marquise Gray and Cedric Moten.
The 5-foot-11 Terry reminds coach Mike Williams of several players that include Morris — the 2013 Mr. Basketball Award winner who is a rookie with the Denver Nuggets — as well as Allen Iverson and former Michigan State star Mateen Cleaves, who honed his skills at Flint Northern.
Those are lofty comparisons for sure, but Williams obviously knows what top talent looks like after leading the Bucs to five state titles and two more quarterfinal appearances since 2012.
Terry was a reserve on the 2017 championship team when he was a freshman.
“He reminds me of Monte Morris in his unselfishness and his IQ, but he has the Allen Iverson athleticism,” said Williams, who had the Bucs ranked No. 1 all season before they lost in the quarterfinals to defending state champion Detroit Edison.
“I had the fortune of coaching Monte and I really see similarities in the way they play and how unselfish they were. He’s capable of scoring 50-60 points in a game but he doesn’t want to be that type of player. He wants to be the type of player that shares the wealth and makes his teammates better.
“When I say Allen Iverson, I don’t know Allen Iverson. I just know him from an athletic standpoint and his ability to play above the rim, his speed.”
Like Iverson, Terry plays much bigger than his size.
It wasn’t uncommon to see him throw down a 360-degree dunk or an alley-oop on the fast break, but he can also shoot mid-range jumpers, 3-pointers and has enough moves around the basket to get an open shot, draw a foul or twist and for a reverse layup if covered by an opponent.
He’s also an outstanding free-throw shooter.
Terry made all 13 of his free throws while scoring a game-high 24 points in the Division 3 quarterfinals vs. Edison and sank all eight he attempted in the second quarter of a 40-point district tournament win against Flint Hamady.
Terry had 22 points in the second quarter vs. Hamady after Williams told him to quit being unselfish and take over because the rest of the Bucs were struggling. Beecher led 10-8 after the first quarter and 40-28 at halftime after Terry’s outburst.
“He really wants everybody around him to shine, almost to a fault,” said Williams, who called Terry “selfishly unselfish, if that makes sense.”
For the season, Terry averaged 22.5 points, 5.7 assists, 3.6 steals and 1.1 blocks.
Colleges that have made him offers include Michigan State, Iowa, DePaul, Iowa State, Butler and Mississippi State. Louisville and Michigan have also expressed interest in Terry.
Erie-Mason’s Kevin Skaggs was named The AP Coach of the Year for Division 3 boys basketball.