The Skyforce acquired Emanuel Terry in a trade with the Canton Charge less than a week ago, and he’s already made a massive impact in his first two games. After scoring in double-figures just five times through his first 20 games while with the Charge, Terry has posted a career-high 18 points followed by a 16-point, 10-rebound double-double in two games with Sioux Falls.
“He is a perfect fit,” said Head Coach Nevada Smith of Terry. “He’s very athletic and he puts pressure on the rim. He seems to grab every rebound.”
The Terry trade happened at the perfect time for the Skyforce, who has seen its frontcourt depth diminish over the last few games. Injuries to Miami HEAT two-way player Yante Maten and Raphiael Putney have caused both of them to miss time, and Jarnell Stokes earned an NBA Call-Up to the Memphis Grizzlies after just six games played for the Force. However, Terry has stepped in and filled that gap so seamlessly that one might think he’s been playing for Sioux Falls all season.
“With our injuries, we needed some help inside,” said Smith. “He has walked in like he has been here all year. He’ll definitely help us tomorrow night against Stockton and will continue to help us every day going forward.”
“I’m just trying my best to be the best version of myself,” said Terry. “Coming to this new team, I wanted the first impression to be the best impression. I wanted to learn more, become a better teammate, and be introduced to the style of play that was best for me.”
Perhaps the only reminder of just how new Terry is to the Skyforce is the fact that he still doesn’t have a name sewn on to the back of his jersey. Having joined Sioux Falls amidst a four-game road trip, he’s not only played but has started a game still donning a blank jersey. This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, “play for the name on the front of your jersey, not the back.” In Terry’s case, he has no other option.
All joking aside, Terry has already proven to be the ultimate team player. Without demanding the ball, Terry is averaging 17.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game after averaging just 8.6 points and 6.4 rebounds prior to joining the Skyforce. He makes winning plays, which has already made a big difference for the Force now in back-to-back road wins.
“Coach [Smith] has been nothing but a great coach since the day I met him,” said Terry. “I feel like he has belief in me, and that makes me go harder along with my new teammates. It’s been a great experience so far.”