Dallas Mavericks second-year guard Tyrell Terry is ready to give back to the community in hopes of providing a brighter, equitable future for young students.

This week, Terry announced his decision to grant two scholarships for $5000 each to a student in North Texas and one in Minnesota to award them the chance to continue their higher education dreams.

The Stanford product said he’d witnessed the power of education in his own life and he’s thrilled to now pay it forward.

“The scholarship is going to be an essay,” Terry said. “It’s going to be $10,000 split between the two (winners). The essay is going to be on a certain topic that I choose. I’m not going to quite disclose that just yet. I think it’ll be a pretty in-depth topic. My goal is just to help aspiring students.”


Tyrell Terry was born in North Dakota, and as a young child, he would race onto the court after his father’s games. His dad, Tyron Terry, played two years at North Dakota State University and two years at Valley City State University where he was an all-conference performer.

When Tyrell was five years old, he moved with his mother, Carrie, to Minnesota. Carrie was a graduate student and went on to become a sports therapist in outpatient sports medicine. She raised her young son by herself, and for nine years, Terry was an only child.

In those early days, Ty watched his mother study and go to school, and he witnessed discipline and hard work in action. He understood firsthand what it meant to follow and chase your dreams.

“He actually was an easy kid growing up,” Carrie said in an interview. “He barely got in trouble. He would help out around the house without asking. Well-rounded, a hard-work ethic. You never had to tell him to do his homework; he was always doing it on his own. He actually used to ask his teacher for more homework. Not sure what kid does that.”

The family celebrated academic success above sports.

“My parents were hard on me academically, telling me if I didn’t get a certain grade, I couldn’t play basketball,” explained. “I actually fell in love with the idea of academics. That is kind of the reason I went to Stanford, to find a place where academics were held to the same standard as athletics.”

Terry went on to play high school basketball at DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis, where he won three state 3A titles as a freshman, sophomore, and senior. His last one was the surprising one. Everyone expected the Islanders’ dynasty was over when they failed to win a championship the year before under a new coach.

A short time later, he left for Stanford and competed for the Cardinal for one season, blazing a trail and dazzling teammates and fans along the way.

Interestingly enough, Terry’s coach at Stanford was Jerod Haase, who was a teammate of Jason Kidd at Cal. He knew the value of an important point guard and Terry was the perfect fit.

“The only question was how fast he’d be able to transition to college ball with his body and the physicality of the game,” Cohen said. “But we knew his IQ, skill level, competitive spirit, and leadership qualities were going to be there from the start.”


Although basketball has afforded him excellent opportunities throughout his life, Terry says that education is the key to success. No student should be barred from pursuing higher education because of the cost.

“All kids should have the opportunity to chase that if they want,” Terry explained. “Some kids…choose a different path, which is great. But some students want to choose that (education) path and want to take education seriously and may not have access to it. So my platform, my desire, is to help these students. That’s what the scholarship is about.”

The soon-to-be 21-year-old said the final details on the scholarship essay topic and due date is yet to be determined, but he hopes to have a final decision to announce soon.

He explained how his parents always instilled the importance of education in his own life, and he always “just went with it” and didn’t defy their desire to help him learn. Now he wants to help others have the same kind of academic opportunities.

“I always loved school,” the sharpshooter shared. “I loved reading and the art of learning and expanding your mind. I saw the doors (that) education opened for me. So if I can help a student open those same doors…then why not? Why would I not do that? It’s something special, in my own opinion.”

Even today, Terry is still an avid reader. He noted that a few of his favorite books are Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist,” and he’s currently reading the sci-fi fantasy novel “The Fifth Season” right now.

Terry explained that fans can find out the details of the scholarship on his Twitter. There’s also a link there to donate to his cause.

“For anybody else that wants to join my team and help these kids, they can make any donation they want, and it’s 100 percent (that goes) to these students. I will be very grateful. Also, I’ll be personally giving a gift to the top 20 donors. Any donation helps, and we’re all very grateful for it.”


Terry appeared on Mavs Daily this week, and Bobby Karalla asked Terry about the rumors before the 2020 draft. Fans may remember how USA Today reported that Terry “broke a record” for a basketball IQ test administered by several NBA front offices.

“Yeah, I was honestly very surprised when I heard the news that I broke the test,” Terry shared. “I honestly thought it was very easy. I was in my bed on an Ipad taking it. It reminded me of a concussion test.

“There were sequences that you had to remember…kind of almost like a pattern sequence and remembering things. They showed you letters and pictures, and you had to put them in order, kind of like a memory test. So, I didn’t feel like it was too difficult, so I was very surprised. I didn’t even think they were scoring it or tracking the record. It was a pretty cool deal at the end of the day.”

Karella joked that Terry needs to keep the title and hold the record forever.

“Hopefully, it was a good enough margin to keep it there for a while,” Terry quipped.


The NBA countdown is on with Mavs Media Day slated for Monday, Sept. 27, followed by the start of training camp on Tuesday. Last season Terry played in 11 games and also competed in 13 games with the Memphis Hustle. He competed in two games during summer league before a groin injury sidelined him.

“I think the highlight for me was just being in the NBA,” Terry said. “I knew it wasn’t a normal year, but just being immersed around the best players and the best coaches in the world was great. I still got to experience some really cool things and see some arenas I’ve never seen before, so it all was a great experience.”

He also said it was a highlight to receive the support of Dallas Mavericks fans from around the globe after he returned from an absence due to personal reasons.

“I went through something last season that I’ve never experienced before,” Terry shared. “It was a very tough time for me. Mavs fans could have easily asked why I wasn’t on the court and told me to do my job and things like that, but all I received was positive words and encouragement and that everyone has my back. (They said) I’m a great player and that I’m going to have a successful career and to take my time and get my mind right.”

He explained that the support made the process much easier.

“If I had a lot of negative feedback, it would have been a lot harder to get back where I needed to be,” Terry said.

Terry opened up and shared many personal thoughts on the Mavs Daily show and spoke about the upcoming season under the direction of new head coach Jason Kidd.

“I remember Jason Kidd very well,” Terry said. “He wasn’t someone I studied when I was younger or watched too closely…but as a fan of the game, I saw a lot of Jason Kidd. He wasn’t someone I looked at like a role model at the time. But now that he’s our coach, it’s such a great experience to be around a person of that talent. To be able to learn and dissect what he has to say on a daily basis is an experience that you can’t take for granted.”

It’s an experience he also wants other young people to live out in whatever field they might be pursuing. That is why these scholarships are so important to Terry.

He believes that all things are possible, and it’s his goal to help others see their potential.

The scholarships are just the first step in giving back to the game that has afforded him so much joy.

“It’s a dream come true,” Terry said.

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