One of the most prolific players to ever set foot on the Spaulding Gym Court, Dave Terry helped usher in an exciting men’s basketball revival at Keene State College. Although he played just two seasons for the Owls (1969-70), Terry’s impact on the team and production during that time are worthy of Hall of Fame induction.
In a short span of 55 games, Terry put up numbers that any four-year player would be hard pressed to attain. He not only holds game (36), season (719) and career (1,272) rebound marks, but is also a member of the Owls’ 1,000-point club. Tallying 1,230 point during that time, Terry also holds the record for career scoring average (22.3 ppg.).
But basketball was more than just numbers for Terry. It was about friendships on and off the court. “It was more a camaraderie thing for me,’ said Terry, recalling how the team blended the talents of local players with those of high profile recruits. “We needed each other to play at such a high level.”
Originally from Bloomington, Ind., where basketball is “king”, Terry, then a sophomore high school player, developed a friendship with soon-to-be Owl coach Glenn Theulen. Although Terry would play two seasons at JUCO power Vincennes University, he stayed in touch with Theulen, who brought him to KSC to complete his two remaining years of eligibility.
“Terry was a man among boys,” said Theulen. “He could beat you in so many ways.” He played with heart and intelligence and was a team player.”
Standing six-foot, six inches and weighing 240 lbs., Terry was a force to be reckoned with under the basket. “My forte was rebounding. It was that I was dominating or could jump high, I liked to be physical and use some finesse.”
“I thought I was a pretty good shooter,” he added. “Most of the time I would finesse in and get a good shot. I wasn’t a go-to guy, but when they needed a basket, I’d get it.”
Teaming up with fellow Indiana native Joe Whiten, Terry, a two-time NESCAC All-star, and the Owls’ run-and gun style left opponents wondering what hit them. It was standing room only at Spaulding Gym during the 69-70 season as KSC compiled a 21-8 record and advanced to the finals of the Northern NECCAC New England Tournament.
“I didn’t realize what it all meant at the time,” said Terry, regarding his short but productive Owl career. I just loved playing basketball. It was the best time of my life.”
Following his graduation, Terry played briefly in Holland and took graduate courses at the University of Louisville, before returning to KSC, where he taught in the recreation department and coached basketball and track. He and his growing family then moved to Houston, Tx., where he worked in the Boy’s Town program for kids at risk.
Returning to his love of sports and teaching, Terry is presently a teacher and coach at Bellaire High School outside of Houston.
“Its quite an honor to be recognized for doing something well,” said Terry about his induction. We had fun, won a few games and did the best we could. And its nice that someone else thought so too.”