Terry Shares Personal Story From National Title Run

Arizona's 1997 national championship was special for Jason Terry – for reasons both on and off the court

The DA Show
April 04, 2019 - 1:47 pm
Jason Terry NBA

USA Today Images


For as much as Jason Terry accomplished in the NBA – and he accomplished a lot – there is nothing quite like playing in the Final Four and winning the national championship. 

Terry did that in 1997, helping Arizona beat Kansas, North Carolina and Kentucky, among others, en route to a title.

“Playing 19 seasons in the NBA, winning the NBA Finals, that is the ultimate,” Terry said on The DA Show. “The emotions, the feelings you have when you reach that pinnacle, are second to none. But the only thing that can equate to that is winning an NCAA championship. You’re 18 years old. You’re the last team standing. The road it took to get there . . . and now you are one of those kids playing in that moment, I remember it like it was yesterday. It’s a night that you will never forget.”

Not for Terry, and not for former Arizona coach Lute Olson.

“Lute Olson’s wife, Bobbi – rest her soul – she was there,” Terry said. The smile on her face, it always resonates with me. Seeing my mother and father – who didn’t really have a relationship – sit together and share that moment, one of my greatest moments, was just phenomenal for me.”

Terry, 41, grew up in a single-parent household. He was the second-oldest of 10 children.

“My mother raised me,” he said. “My father was in the picture but lived probably about 45 miles away, so I only (saw) him rarely on weekends. They just didn’t get along for whatever reason. But when I got to college, I told coach, 'I don’t care what you do. This whole tournament, I want you to seat them together.’ And lo and behold, every game, they sat right there. Just to see them share that moment with me in the end and we hoist up that trophy was definitely phenomenal.”