NBADraft.net’s Evan Tomes recently caught up with Terrance Ferguson at the McDonald’s All American Game. Once committed to Alabama, the high flyer recently committed to Arizona. His tremendous shooting was on display at the Nike Hoop Summit as he set a new record for threes (7-of-11) in a game. Here’s what he had to say in Chicago.
NBADraft.net: How has Chicago been so far?
Terrance Ferguson: It’s been an unbelievable experience. Just to be named a McDonald’s All American; that’s just a basketball player’s dream and for my name to be selected to be in this event, it’s unbelievable, I’m blessed, I’m honored, and I’m going to keep competing and making a name for myself.
NBADraft.net: Do you feel like you have anything to prove playing in this game?
Terrance Ferguson: Nothing to prove just to keep working. The best players are here and just competing against them, just taking the time out of our life just to relax, have fun, and also compete at the same time.
NBADraft.net: To somebody who hasn’t seen you play before, how would you describe your game to them?
Terrance Ferguson: I’m a shooter. I’m a deep range shooter. I can shoot from anywhere and I’m very athletic; and I put my main focus on defense. I like to stop the best players on the court and that’s just pretty much it.
NBADraft.net: Is there anybody you pattern your game off of?
Terrance Ferguson: I definitely base my game off of a young Ray Allen. He was athletic, crazy, and then like I said he was a shooter so I like his game a lot and I try to study his movement and all that.
NBADraft.net: What’s the main thing you want to add to your game or work on before you go to college?
Terrance Ferguson: Definitely a one-two dribble pull up and definitely my passing ability because I don’t want to be a ball hog at all. I want to find players and just make other players better.
NBADraft.net: Who’s been the most difficult opponent for you to face?
Terrance Ferguson: There’s two of them here, one’s on my team and one’s on the opposite. That’s Jayson Tatum and Josh Jackson, they’re tough players to guard. Both play very different, Jayson’s more of a smooth player, post up. Josh is more of a strong, force it into you, and just a grindy player.
NBADraft.net: At what age did you realize basketball was something you wanted to pursue?
Terrance Ferguson: I already liked basketball but I knew I could make a living out of it probably freshman year. I knew I’d be something, just competing against the best players around the nation, especially going to a school where I play a national schedule so I got to play against some of the best players and prove myself.
NBADraft.net: How was playing on The Grind Session it its first season?
Terrance Ferguson: It was pretty good, like I said Josh Jackson was there, he was one of the best players I faced. I probably faced him two times a year; that’s sophomore, junior, and I played him two times this year also so I’ve been playing against Josh for a while now and he really helped me out a lot. He helped me get where I am, helped me get the mindset defensively, just to stop one of the best players. He really helped me out a lot.
NBADraft.net: You started out at Prime Prep, now finishing up at API, how has that whole experience been?
Terrance Ferguson: I’m not going to say it’s easy, it’s a journey but you have to go through things in life to achieve yourself so I went through things but I got the mindset that I’m never going to stop me, I’m going to keep going no matter what, and I’m here right now so I guess it’s been pretty good.
NBADraft.net: What’s been your biggest basketball moment so far?
Terrance Ferguson: Probably USA Basketball under 19; it was a tough game, went into overtime, game was on the line, we thought we were going to lose and came out with a W and we won. We won and last year’s U19 team didn’t, so we got the W.
NBADraft.net: You played with two elite point guards in your career, Emmanuel Mudiay and now Trevon Duval. You also had a year without either, can you describe the significance of playing with a high caliber point guard?
Terrance Ferguson: Those two players, like you said, one of the best two in the nation. Emmanuel Mudiay as you can see he’s with the Denver Nuggets now so you can see the impact on the game. Just playing with him, it made the game easier for me especially as a freshman and sophomore going into my early career so the game came so much easier because he could find me anywhere on the court, he always knew where I was and found me, which made me a better person and better player, better scorer so he got my name out there pretty much.
NBADraft.net: How’s your recruiting coming along?
Terrance Ferguson: It’s hectic, it’s hectic. Especially since I opened my recruitment. I’m getting a thousand texts, a thousand calls a day but right now I’m taking a break, I’m living right now, just enjoying the moment being a McDonald’s All American. **Since committed to Arizona
NBADraft.net: Have any of these players tried to recruit you?
Terrance Ferguson: A lot, but Kobi (Simmons) has been on me the most, everywhere I turn, Kobi’s there. I was surprised he’s not here right now, that’s why I started looking around, I was surprised he’s not here because Kobi’s always on me about just “bear down, bear down, bear down”. “OK Kobi just let me think, just let me relax real quick”. But yeah, Kobi is.
NBADraft.net: What separates you from your peers playing in this game?
Terrance Ferguson: Nothing separates us, like I said, we’re just here to have fun but I really focus on defense so I want to go up there and stop them. I’m not sure they’re going to stop me, they’re just going to get passed me but I just want to go out there with the mindset of stopping them, like I don’t really care about the offensive end but if I get my shots then I get my shots, but right now I’m just focusing on stopping the best player on the court.
NBADraft.net: If you could go back and give advice to a ninth grade Terrance Ferguson, what would you say?
Terrance Ferguson: Don’t give up. I never gave up but like I said, it’s a journey so whatever you go through just keep your head right, just stay on the right path, just keep fighting no matter what.
NBADraft.net: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Terrance Ferguson: I see myself just taking care of my family, giving back to my community because those are the people that got me here into this situation so I would love to give back one day. Whether that’s playing in the NBA or overseas just professional basketball period.