Julian Terrell: A senior looks back

It's finally dawning on Julian Terrell-- his college basketball career is rapidly coming to a close. The normally reserved 6-9 senior from Nashville took time recently to look back on some of the events that have shaped his life, including the untimely death of his mother, and his decision to play high school basketball alongside close friends at Ezell-Harding Christian School. Vandy opens SEC Tournament play vs. Auburn Thursday at 6:30 pm CT.


VandyMania: Julian, of course no one ever quite gets over the untimely death of on of his parents. But hopefully you do get to a point where you return to the mainstream of life. I wonder, where are you in the grief process today?

Vanderbilt senior forward Julian Terrell: I feel like I've done a good job of getting past it. I definitely still think about it a lot. But in a way losing her was kind of a relief. In a way, it eased things up for me. I don't grieve too much about it. But I know she's still with me.

VM: In what area of your life would you say she was the greatest influence on you?

Julian: Probably inspiration. I could always look to her for some sort of inspiration. Whenever I was down, she had the ability to build me back up. She knew just how and in what ways to bring me back up, especially in college. Last year I wasn't having a great season, because I was worrying about her. But then again, she was telling me what I can do to get better. So I'd say she did a great job just of inspiring me. She still does today.

VM: You're kind of a quiet guy by nature, but you've got to be very aggressive and have a lot of fire in you when you come out on the court. What do you do before the game to prepare yourself to, you know, come out of that shell?

Julian: I visualize what I need to do that certain night. Going into a game I know what I need to do, how I'm going to have to play, and who I'm going up against. That kind of sets the stage for me for that game, and tells me what I need to be doing, and how to make it better for the night.

VM: Ezell-Harding was kind of a unique place to play your high school ball. What was it like playing there, and what did you take from playing at a Christian high school like that?

Julian: I loved playing at Ezell. I played with a lot of my best friends that I grew up with. Going to a Christian school, it wasn't that big, but it was the kind of environment that I liked. Everybody was like a family there. There were never any big conflicts there, or between any people that I hung out with. I'm still best friends with the same people I was best friends with back in high school. I really think going to Ezell kind of set me up for success.

VM: That was an incredible bunch of athletes that you played with, that probably won't ever be seen again. How did a school like Ezell come to have such an incredible amount of athletic talent at the same time?

Julian: The way our parents were... we all had parents that always wanted the best for their kids. With us playing AAU basketball together, we were always around each other. One day it was kind of like, my mom wanted to get me out of public school, and Erik Davis the same way, and Antoine Owens' grandmother. Our AAU coach's kid went to the school, and he said we should all look at his school. It's a great environment. So we all did it. We decided going to school with a bunch of people that we actually liked being around would be the best thing for us.

Erik Davis, a four-year letterman at receiver for Vandy, was one of Terrell's inner circle of friends at Ezell-Harding Christian. (B. Wiseman)
VM: What year was that?

Julian: Except for Erik, we all started in the eighth grade. Erik started there our freshman year.

VM: Anyone else in that group besides Erik, Antoine and you?

Julian: We were kind of the inner circle, but I've got three or four other friends that I can always count on that went to Ezell with me. Matt Blackmore, Jean Augustin, and A.J. Blackburn. A.J. played football there. Matt is a student at MTSU. He's a great friend of mine. All my friends help to keep my mind at an even level.

VM: Did you play any football at Ezell-Harding?

Julian: I played football my junior year. I used to tell Erik I was better than him... but I really wasn't. I played alongside him, and that was a great experience for me. Now that I've seen what Erik does out there on the college field, and knowing that I once played with that guy, it's great. He's probably the football player that I most enjoy watching.


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