There's no question that Terrell Everett was one of the best basketball players to ever don a Grizzly uniform. The only debate is where to put him on that list.
For Dean Smith, former color commentator for the Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly Basketball broadcasts, Everett stands near the top, if not at the top. "I was fortunate enough to broadcast for the Grizzlies for 17 years, and I saw a lot of players in that time, but none were better than Terrell," he said. "He came here and fit right in with our program, and started almost instantly."
Long-time Grizzly Basketball fan Russ Gant puts him in his top three. "He was one of the best all-around players we ever had. He was very slight of frame, dribbled the ball kind of high, but very much a competitor. He was very quick with his first dribble, and he had tremendous confidence in every aspect of his game."
Gant recalled being asked in 2002 by then Head Basketball Coach Tom Barr to help him evaluate a couple of guards he was considering during the players' campus visit; one was Everett. "The guard from Wisconsin was bigger than Terrell and looked like he could drive the lane," Gant said. "I told Coach Barr if I were going to choose, I'd choose the guard from Wisconsin. I'm glad the coach didn't listen to me for the thousandth time!" So were other Grizzly fans when they saw what he could do on the court.
The 6-foot, 4-inch guard from Charleston, S.C., signed with the Grizzlies in 2002 after a four-year career at West Ashley High School, where he earned all-state, all-region and Low County Player of the Year honors. He made an immediate impact on the team as a consistent scorer, but as the season continued, he developed his ball handling and defensive skills and helped guide the team to an 18-13 record.
Everett really came into his own during his sophomore season and turned in some of his best performances as a Grizzly. In November 2003, he nearly recorded a triple-double performance against Fort Scott Community College in the Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College Thanksgiving Tournament with 16 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. Against Region 16 rival State Fair Community College in December, he showed his all-around skills by scoring 20 points and recording nine rebounds, four assists, four deflections and five steals. And he scored career highs of 38 points against Region 16 rivals Mineral Area College and Moberly Area Community College in the second half of the season.
"He was fun to be around and fun to watch," Smith said. "He made things happen. You didn't always know what he was going to do, but you knew it was going to be good. When the game was on, he was always ready. He loved the game, he loved his teammates, and they loved him."
Everett helped the Grizzlies recapture some of their former greatness in 2003-04, guiding the team to a 24-8 record and returning the team to the Region 16 Championship game and the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I basketball poll. He led the team in total points scored (609), points per game (19), rebounding (181), rebounds per game (5.7), steals (86) and deflections (84). His efforts earned him Region 16 Player of the Year honors and second-team NJCAA All-American honors.
For his career, he averaged 13.4 points per game, shot 58.1 percent from 2-point range, 28.8 percent from 3-point range, and 71.9 percent from the free throw line. He collected 4.3 rebounds per game, dished out 4.8 assists per game, and collected 140 steals.
At the time of his departure, Everett was third on the Grizzlies' all-time list in points scored in a season (609), third in points per game in a season (19), second in career steals (140), second in career assists (300), and second in best 2-point field goal shooting percentage in a season (63.9). He remains third among all-time Grizzlies in scoring average in a season and points scored in a season, and second in career assists and career steals, and he is currently fourth among all Grizzlies in best 2-point field goal percentage in a season.
Everett graduated from Missouri State-West Plains with an Associate of Arts in General Studies degree in May 2004 and transferred to the University of Oklahoma where he quickly became an impact player. In his first season as a Sooner, he scored in double figures a team high 27 times, including 13 of the last 14 games; led the squad in assists 24 times, including 22 of the last 27 outings; registered at least five assists in 18 games; handed out a career high nine assists against the University of Texas on Jan. 22, 2005; and came within two assists of a triple-double at Texas Tech University in the regular season finale (14 points and a career-high 10 rebounds). He was named to the Dallas Morning News' first-team All-Big 12 squad and was an honorable mention All-Big 12 pick by league coaches and media. He also was named to the Big 12's All-Newcomer Team.
In his senior season, Everett started all 29 games and was ranked third in the nation in assists with 199. His 6.9 assists per game average was the most by a Sooner in 18 seasons. He recorded 21 points, 11 assists and three steals against the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the NCAA Tournament, and he nearly broke the OU record in assists per game when he handed out 15 against Baylor on Feb. 11, 2006. In Big 12 play, he averaged 13.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 1.9 steals and scored in double figures in 14 of 16 conference games. Those stats earned him second-team All-Big 12 honors from conference coaches and first-team All-Big 12 honors from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Kansas City Star and The Oklahoman.
Overall as a Sooner, Everett started in 61 of 62 games and helped guide the team to a 45-17 record. He averaged 12.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 1.7 steals in his two-year career. He finished fourth in school history in assists per game, 10th in school history in total assists (365), and 10th in school history in steals per game.
After completing his collegiate career, Everett pursued a professional career in Europe. He has played for three different teams in France, one in Croatia and one in Greece. He was named a French Pro All-Star in 2007 and received Eurobasketball.com All-French ProA second team honors that same season. He helped guide one of his French teams to the Frence ProA semifinals, and in 2011, his Croatian team reached the semifinals of the Croatian Cup. Currently, he plays for Bremerhaven in Germany.
Everett was close to making it to the NBA on two different occasions. He played in the Portsmouth (Va.) Invitational Tournament and was on the Phoenix Suns' Las Vegas Summer League team in 2007.
"Without a doubt, Terrell was the toughest kid to go through here," Smith said. "I'm so happy he is receiving this honor."