Emanuel Terry is NBA bound, inks 10-day contract with Phoenix Suns

Courtesy of LMU Athletics
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PHOENIX, Ariz. - Former Lincoln Memorial University All-American forward Emanuel Terry has signed a 10-day contract to join the Phoenix Suns, it was announced on Sunday.

Terry, who starred for the Railsplitters from 2014-18, earned a call up to the NBA after lighting it up for the Miami Heat's G-League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Since being acquired by the Skyforce from the Canton Charge, Terry has made seven appearances and averaged 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game while shooting over 61 percent from the field.

"I am so happy for Emanuel as I know how far he's come over the years and how much he's invested in order to make it to the NBA," said LMU head men's basketball coach Josh Schertz. "He was a young man with a vision for what he wanted to accomplish who also had the daily discipline to make his dreams a reality."

Terry will be in uniform for the Suns tonight when they visit the Los Angeles Lakers for a 9:30 p.m. (ET) tip at the Staples Center.

It's been quite a journey for Terry since the Enterprise, Ala., native's LMU career ended in March 2018.

After not hearing his name called in the NBA Draft, Terry was signed to a Summer League contract by the Denver Nuggets. Though he made waves and turned heads in the Summer League, Terry was released by the Nuggets and promptly signed just days later by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Terry made 20 appearances for the Cavaliers' G-League affiliate in Canton, averaging 8.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game while shooting 57 percent from the floor before being traded to Sioux Falls.

Now Terry hopes to become the first LMU player and second South Atlantic Conference player to appear in an NBA game. Wingate's Junior Harrington is the only other athlete from a current SAC school to have made an appearance in an NBA game, as he played in 139 total between 2002-07.

"While I recognize this is an incredible achievement for Emanuel on his basketball journey, I have no doubt that his biggest accomplishments are yet to come. It truly couldn't have happened to a better human being and while his talent is both obvious and enormous, he's truly a better person than basketball player."

Terry came to Lincoln Memorial prior to the 2014-15 season by way of Enterprise, Ala. A relatively unknown prospect, the 6-9 forward quickly drew attention while catapulting the Railsplitters to new heights.

From 2014-18, the Railsplitters went a combined 126-14 with four straight 30-win seasons, four SAC regular-season titles, two SAC tournament championships, four NCAA tournament appearances, two Southeast Region titles and back-to-back trips to the national semifinals, including a run to the 2016 national championship game. Lincoln Memorial was ranked No. 1 in the country at least once during all four seasons of Terry's career.

Terry capped his career as the only player in school history to surpass 1,000 points, 800 rebounds and 200 blocks while finishing his career as the program's all-time leader in field-goal percentage and blocked shots.

Terry's 2017-18 season might go down as the greatest individual season in program history. As a senior, Terry racked up 16.9 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game to collect SAC Player of the Year, SAC Defensive Player of the Year, Southeast Region Player of the Year and consensus All-American accolades.

He was also voted as the third-ever recipient of the Bevo Francis Award, which is giving annually to the best player competing outside of the NCAA Division I by Small College Basketball.