Terrell's Love for the Game, Teammates Provides Boost for Rams

Photo Credit: Alex Subers
Photo Credit: Alex Subers

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – There is a confident ease to the way Jared Terrell plays the game of basketball; an alpha male presence that naturally attracts attention.

Maybe it's his ability to play shutdown defense on the opposition's top player. Maybe it is his ability to either power his way through the lane to the basket, or step back and calmly hit a 3-pointer.

Maybe it's the way he plays like nobody is watching. One minute he's diving to coral a loose ball, and the next he's shimmying down the court, celebrating a teammate's big play.

Whatever it is, Terrell plays the game with equal parts swagger and love. When he's on the court, it is obvious to those watching that he is exactly where he wants to be.

I really can't explain it, man. I just have fun," Terrell said, flashing his trademark million-watt smile while discussing his style of play. "I put everything I have into this game, and it has rewarded me in many ways. I try to always play the game the right way. I take a lot of pride in that. I'm just being myself. It's just my passion and the energy this game gives me. My teammates feed off of it, and I feed off of it."

This is a young man who shares his passion for the game with everyone around him. It was evident moments after the Rams won the Atlantic 10 Championship, when Terrell embraced Jarvis Garrett, the two falling to the floor in celebration. 

"That is like my blood brother, man," Terrell said of Garrett. "He means everything in the world to me, just like everyone on this team does. Our bond goes beyond friendship, and it has become stronger and stronger every day."

Terrell's presence has made Rhode Island a stronger program since the day he arrived in Kingston. Rhode Island head coach Dan Hurley does not mince words when talking about what Terrell means to the program.

"E.C. Matthews and Hassan Martin were the first two big recruits, but we needed Jared," Hurley said. "When Jared came here, he was the most important recruit. We needed confidence. We needed a man to come join our team. When he came in his freshman year we went from a 14-win team to a 23-win team that was playing in the semis of the conference tournament.

"Everything changed for our program when Jared Terrell decided to come here."

Terrell's teammates understand what he means to the team. Freshman forward Cyril Langevine said Terrell is the one keeping guys loose on the floor. During timeouts, Terrell is always talking to his teammates, reminding them of what needs to be done, and doing so in a way that boosts the rest of the team.

"Jared is a ballplayer," Langevine said, emphasizing the final word of his statement. "I love watching him play because we can put him up against the toughest player on any team, and he's going to go out there and do the job. Whatever he has to do, he does it. And he makes it look easy."