While his parents, Bruce and Kathy, are both under 5'6", Terry has grown to almost 5'10" but--more importantly--has grown into a key role as the backup point guard for the Cougars.
In BYU's 69-56 win over UC Santa Barbara last week, Nashif scored 9 points in 17 minutes and sparked several rallies that helped lift the Cougars to their 40th straight home win.
But it almost never happened.
He grew up watching the Cougars on television, just not basketball. His first love was BYU football and after having an all-conference season as a wide receiver, he hoped that BYU might come calling. They did, only it was to see teammate Bryce Mahuika, a sophomore corner, who later inked with the Cougars.
That left Nashif, a 4.0 student who also was the student body president at
His high school basketball team, on which he was the starting point guard, had a remarkable 25-1 season, losing by a narrow margin in the semi-finals to eventual state champion Walla Walla. But the only schools showing interest were
So one month after graduation he left for a church mission to
Really, though, he says that football and basketball were far from his thoughts as he taught the gospel and "fell in love" with the people of
When Nashif returned from his mission he called Coach Dave Rose at BYU to ask him if he could walk-on. Rose knew him from summer camps and suggested that he keep working hard and to check in with the coaches when school started.
The beginning of the semester wasn't easy for him. He had to work out at Gold's Gym because he wasn't a member of the BYU team yet, then run to the
It seemed like he would never make it. He questioned if it was worth the time, worth all the trouble.
Then midway through the Fall semester, an assistant coach called him and said "you've made the team. Come and get a locker."
Last year he played sparingly as veteran Matt Montague guided the team. This year, the Cougars brought in junior college transfer Kevin Woodbury to run the point, but Nashif has proven more then capable as Woodberry's backup. In the Paradise Jam championship win against St. Bonaventure, he played 23 valuable minutes in relief of Woodberry.
But it wasn't until last week's outing against
For Nashif, the personal recognition isn't as important as the team winning. He believes that this team will not only contend for a conference title but can win games in the NCAA tournament.
But as for being short, he knows there isn't much he can change about that. Perhaps when 7'0" roommate Dan Howard gets married and they stop hanging out around town together so much his diminutive stature won't be quite so noticeable. Until then, don't worry about mentioning his lack of height. He'll take it as a compliment.