PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Terrell Stokes was a star basketball player at Simon Gratz High School and the University of Maryland. Now he’s the new head men’s basketball coach at Cheyney University.
Stokes was a part of some incredible teams at Gratz playing for the legendary head coach Bill Ellerbee. He said it was then a bit of an adjustment in college getting used to playing for another legend, Gary Williams, at Maryland.
“I think my first couple weeks, you know I’m like, ‘Coach Williams, Gary, I don’t think you’re supposed to do it this way, you’re supposed to it that way. Why you say this way? Well Mr. Ell said I had to do it this way.’ So the first two weeks it was like, ‘OK Terrell, you’re going to have to learn the way I do things. Mr Ell’s not here anymore,'” he recalled.
“So the first two weeks, I’m in his office every single day and we’re trying to get on the same page. By the third week we got on the same page and the rest is history.”
Stokes enjoyed an extraordinary career at Maryland playing for Williams. He helped the Terrapins win a lot of games, though some of the victories stick out more than the rest.
“I was a freshman and we beat North Carolina. I think we were only up like two and I think we were in the one-and–one. As a freshman, I was shooting 67% from the free throw line and [North Carolina head coach] Dean Smith purposely fouled me, to put me on the line, to see if I’d miss. I made six straight free throws down the stretch for us to pull the win out by four points,” he said.
“So at the end of the game, Dean Smith pulls me to the side and says, ‘Young fella, I had to foul you, because I’m looking at the numbers and you’re 67% from the free throw line.’ I said, ‘Aw Dean, but you didn’t know I’m 95% in the clutch.’ So he laughed, hit me on my shoulder and we walked past. That was one of the great moments I’ll never forget.”