Terrance Ferguson Makes Third USA Team
After five days of training camp that began with 21 players, 11 of whom were high school athletes, Terrance Ferguson (Homeschooled/Dallas, Texas) was named to the 12-member USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Championship Team.
His reaction was exactly what it has been the previous two times he made a red, white and blue team – to call his mom.
“I called her probably five seconds after I found out,” Ferguson said. “It was five seconds because that is how long it took to dial it (the number).
“Because she is my rock,” Ferguson said. “She is the one that I rock with the most out of my family. I called her, then I called my siblings, my sister, brother, then my grandmother. I basically called most of my family.”
Though Ferguson called his entire immediate family, he explained that it was important to call his mom first because she was the person who encouraged him when he was unsure.
“It was unbelievable because when I first came out here to try out for this team, I really did not think I would make the team. I had doubt in my mind. Then my mom gave me a pep talk, which got inside my head that I could actually do it. I came out here knocking down shots and playing defense. I got the coaches’ attention, that was really good for me.”
Ferguson stated that his insecurities came from being one of the youngest participants as well as the only athlete currently not enrolled in school, as he is homeschooled. But after a word of encouragement from his mother, Ferguson began to embrace those differences, which ultimately helped him make the 2015 USA U19 team.
“I know most of these guys go at an actual school, so they get more exposure than I do but, me being homeschooled and being able to come here to showcase my talent, then actually making the team is definitely a standout for me.
“It is definitely different (though I have made two other teams). This team, I am playing with older guys, some have just come out of high school while others are in college. They know what the experience is like. I am the newbie, but I will keep rolling.”
Ferguson was a member of the 2014 USA Men’s U17 World Championship Team that posted a 7-0 record to capture the FIBA U17 World Championship gold medal in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and the 2013 USA Men’s U16 National Team, which collected a perfect 5-0 record en route to winning gold at the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Maldonado.
Four hours after the team was named, the official 12-man team practiced for the first time.
“The team’s first practice went great,” Ferguson said. “Coach did not put too much on us because we had tired legs, but overall it was great.”
Practice ended early on Wednesday to allow the team time to celebrate, but most importantly bond, which as Ferguson sees it, is a vital part of what it will take to win a gold medal.
“We need to come together, that is our main goal. We have to be a team to win a gold medal; basically we will try to work as a team. We are not focusing on running hard; we are focusing on coming together.”
After a few more days of practice, the USA Men’s U19 team will depart on June 21 for Crete, Greece, where they will compete June 27-July 5 in the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship.
“It is always great to represent our country. Like coach said, no team has ever won back-to-back in U19, so we are trying to be the first team to do that. We will go out as a team. We will play our hardest as a team to get the win.”