WILMINGTON -- Pure basketball talent and a strong desire to achieve has taken Terence Stansbury
from a brief but unforgettable career at Newark High
, to Temple University
, to the NBA and then on to pro ball in Europe.
Now, it will take Stansbury to the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame, where he will be among the 11 inductees who will be honored May 19 at the Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington.
Stansbury is a coach in both professional and youth leagues in Holland.
has spent the last decade coaching pro ball in Europe after a long career as a player overseas.
was voted into the hall a couple of years ago but was unable to attend the ceremony because of coaching obligations.
was not inducted.
This year, his
schedule is clear and he's
quite excited about it.
"It's something that you really don't expect to happen," Stansbury
said of the honor.
"It's not really something that you think about when you're playing."
Stansbury's unexpected journey into the basketball spotlight began when he
moved back to Wilmington for his
junior year of high school after spending a year in Los Angeles with his
It didn't take Newark High coach Jim Doody very long to realize he
had something special after a school busing plan put Stansbury
didn't really have a reputation among the kids because he
spent that time in Los Angeles and was new to our school," Doody said.
"But the first time he
drove in for a layup we knew we had something special.
"I'd say that in the history of our state, he'd have to be in anyone's top 10 players all-time."
During the summer between his
junior and senior seasons, Stansbury
opened the eyes of Chuck Durante.
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Durante, a past president of the Delaware Sportswriters
and Broadcasters Association
, recalled Stansbury being named the outstanding player at the John Chaney-Sonny Hill Camp at Cheyney State.
Durante saw firsthand a player leaping and shooting over players that were older and as much as 60 pounds heavier at the West Center City Community Center in Wilmington, three blocks from the house where Stansbury
grew up in the 800 block of West 7th Street.
"The degree to which he
matured over one or two years remains the standard for all Delaware players," said Durante, now a Wilmington lawyer.
moved from forward to point guard before his
Despite the move, he
became the first player in 15 years from the Blue Hen Conference to lead the state in scoring by averaging 26 points per game.
was named Delaware's 1980 Basketball Player of the Year.
would have reached 1,000 points in just two seasons if he
had not dislocated his
thumb while breaking up a pass against Concord with three games left in the regular season.
In an article that appeared in the January 1984 edition of Delaware Today
told Durante exactly why he
performed so well in the spotlight.
"When you play ball, you're out there performing," Stansbury
"You're the show, so you try to do the best you can for those that come to see the show.
When no one shows, you can't really do as much as you would if it's a packed house.
"The enthusiasm that is generated by all those people being there gets you up and brings the best out of you."
Doody saw the best in Stansbury
, both in games and at practice.
"Terence was an incredibly hard worker but also had a tremendous ability to jump and just had a very easy personality to coach," Doody said.
Traded to Indiana in the preseason, Stansbury
became the first player from Delaware to score in the NBA and played three years in the league with the Pacers and Seattle SuperSonics
got a chance to show his
leaping ability to the nation when he
finished third in the slam dunk contest at the All-Star games in both 1985 and '86.
was a fan favorite as he
played in the major European leagues from 1987 to 1993.
was once dubbed "The Michael Jordan of Europe" on the cover of a French magazine
After retiring as a full-time player, Stansbury
returned to Europe, where he
has coached in Belgium, France and Luxembourg.
'I'm from Delaware!'
still keeps an eye tilted across the ocean toward basketball in Delaware.
tuned in to an Internet broadcast of the championship game of the state high school boys tournament in March, since his
son, Solly, is a 6-foot-5 freshman who played for Concord High last season.
"I saw [Solly] in France about a month ago when he
came out here [to Holland]," Stansbury
"I try to follow him as much as I can."
Though Concord lost to eventual state champion Sanford 54-49 in the semifinals, it still gave Stansbury
some chills reminiscing about his
For Doody, just seeing Solly Stansbury in person gives him a chill.
the spitting image of Terence
and the way he
looked back in 1978 with the big Afro and everything.
It's a little bit scary," Doody said.
is proud of his
Delaware roots, even though some articles list him as from Los Angeles.
"That is not the case," Stansbury
Terence Stansbury went from Newark High to Temple, where he has already been inducted into the school's hall of fame.
Terence Stansbury went from Newark High to Temple, where he has already been inducted into the school's hall of fame. (Courtesy of Delaware Sports Hall of Fame)