“Starting at power forward, standing tall at six-feet nine-inches, No. 33, from St. Anthony High School, Terrence Roberts!”
That was probably the last time you heard of Terrence Roberts. SU’s last game against Clemson on March 21st was the last time that most people saw him. Roberts played 34 minuets had 15 points, six rebounds, and one block. The Orange would go onto lose a close game 74-70 in a loss to Clemson.
After that game, every moment—from day one when Roberts signed his name to go to Syracuse, until that last game against Clemson—all flashed in his head within a matter of seconds. Those great four years were now over, nevertheless, not forgotten.
“I chose Syracuse because I just felt more comfortable in that environment, got along really well with everyone made me feel like I was a part of a family not just another recruit,” said Roberts.
A decision that to this day, Roberts doesn’t regret. “I think my decision was the best one that I could have made. Going to Syracuse put me in the best position to succeed after college in my opinion and it allowed my family to really be able to see me in one of the best conferences in college basketball. Not too many people in the world can say they played for 2 Hall of Fame coaches (Jim Boeheim and Bob Hurley Sr.) before they went pro but I can,” said Roberts.
Roberts’ fans don’t regret his decision either. Remember the game February 1st 2006, against Rutgers, seven seconds left in overtime, the clock ticking down Roberts gets the ball, and he hits a buzzer beater three-pointer to win the game 86-84. “It felt great, it was only the second time I had done it in college. Surprisingly, the first time was also against Rutgers as well at Rutgers the year before when I got an and 1 with time running out made the basket and free throw and we won,” said Roberts.
Though despite two great clutch performances from Roberts, which in his mind rank high among his best moments at Syracuse, the top in his opinion was on February 26th where 26,287 crazy fans packed the Carrier Dome to watch the then unranked Orange host the number 10 Georgtown Hoyas. The Orange would go onto upset the Hoyas 72-58 sending those fans piling onto the court out of excitement.
“Senior year beating Georgetown on senior night and everyone rushing the court the way they did, until this day I don’t think if you look back no one team fan base has stormed the court the way the ‘Cuse faithful did that night, I will never be able to forget that. I’m telling you I watch film on that game and it was nuts, you just see the crowd getting closer and closer then all of a sudden boom: pandemonium. The back to back Big East runs was another one that was pretty amazing to me as well,” Roberts said, talking about that crazy and exciting game.
That’s what fans and Roberts all remembered on that March night: the good times and the bad. That having been said, since then many have asked, “Where is Terrence Roberts now?”
“Since leaving school for me has been rough man, April 2007, one week after final game against Clemson, I had to have knee surgery (micro fracture) that ends up ending any chance I have at being drafted or even playing for a full year. I started to heal quickly and thought I was ready to go. [I] went to Greece to play, took a physical, and failed the strength test on my knee so took the rest of the year off to get myself together and get stronger. In 2008 I signed with a team in Israel started the preseason really well 2 games into the season I pulled my groin muscle and got waived but picked up by another team, stayed with them until Christmas break and asked for my release; team was having money problems. From Jan until May spent the rest of the year on a team in Romania where I was really feeling like I was back to my old self, playing good, had a really good coach that was helping me get better as a player. I was all set to play for the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA Summer League, then all of a sudden, first game of the playoffs, I come out, get two dunks, hit a three, next play down tear my ankle up, severe ankle sprain, I’m out for almost 2 ½ months. I end up missing any and all workouts that would have given teams a chance to see that I am healthy and back to normal. So 2009-10 season I signed to play in Japan, very up-tempo league. I had a good year and no injuries but no workouts or summer league invites; don’t know what the hell my agent was doing. Now I am out in Ukraine, feeling great, playing good, and continuing on this journey to try and make this dream a reality.” Roberts said.
Playing overseas has been a trend that college and high school players have taken instead of the NBA, due to several different reasons. However, it can be a tough move due to time-zone changes, language differences, and many more factors.
At first the time-zone changes affected Roberts: “That was tough at first because you pretty much can only talk to people back home when it is time for you to go to bed or really early in the morning,” Roberts said.
As far as the language differences went, “Of course, but you learn to adjust. The toughest part is that even with translators on the team you never really know what people are saying, because the translators are either too scared to repeat because they don’t want confrontation or they feel if they repeat it we might come back at them in some sort of way. But after a while you catch on to most of the words that are being said,” Roberts said.
Despite the changes, this is just a small roadblock in the journey to Roberts’s main goal: to play in the NBA. The question is, when will we see Syracuse Alumni, Terrence Roberts, in one of the 30 teams in the NBA?
“One or two years I will definitely be playing for someone at that level. I am just waiting for the opportunity to show someone that I am still the beast I was. I am just a lot more polished now and a better understanding of the game. I will tell you one thing: I will never quit trying. I have too many people that believe in me and believe in my ability,” Roberts said.
Though despite being over thousands of miles away Roberts never forgets where he came from and where he made his name at. “I’m always up there when I have any free time. I love the new facility (Melo Center) and they look out for me when I am up there as far as the staff and stuff is concerned. I’m up there every summer for a month or so, I am even thinking about moving up there because the living up there is so much cheaper then everyplace else,” Roberts said.
So who knows maybe next time he’s around maybe you’ll see him, if not at least you know where No. 33 is and how he’s been doing. Hopefully soon we won’t have to wonder and all we’ll do is turn on the television or radio and tune into a NBA game and hear the words all over again “Starting at power forward, standing tall at six-feet nine-inches, No. 33, from St. Anthony High School, Terrence Roberts!”