Arizona Basketball

Arizona Wildcats Jason Terry Memories: Jim Rosborough

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JASON TERRY JERSEY NO. 31 RETIREMENT THURSDAY
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Jim Rosborough noticed something peculiar about Jason Terry’s choice for carry-on luggage when the players showed up to McKale Center to catch the bus to the airport in 1995 when Terry was an unworldly freshman.

Terry, from a modest upbringing in Seattle, wanted to get the most out of his first trip to New York City. The Wildcats were headed there to play in the Preseason NIT in 1995. Most of the players had the customary athletic bag or backpack to carry on the plane.

“Low and behold, Jason shows up with something odd in a pillow case,” Rosborough, a longtime assistant under Lute Olson, told me this week. “He had two speakers, about 16 (inches) by 16 (inches), that were part of a boom box, I believe, in that pillow case.

“It was the most ridiculous thing I’d ever seen. Here’s this crazy little guy from Seattle with speakers in a pillow case. He really wanted hear music in his hotel room in New York City. Restrictions on airplanes were not what they are today. We only asked him not to play the music too loud.”

Terry is obviously not the common traveler, especially when compared to his teammates.

Rosborough recalls the 1997 exhibition tour to Australia a couple months after Arizona won the title when each of the players were allowed a daily per diem for meals.

“They didn’t get much, I forgot what it was, but all of the other players managed to stay within their per diem,” Rosborough said. “Rumor has it that Jason was constantly borrowing. The money was meant for food but he used it on clothing and music.

“We were gone for 18 to 20 days. He managed to survive on that trip.”

That’s the story of Terry’s career — managing to survive and thrive. For three years he played behind Reggie Geary and Mike Bibby and finally was allowed to start as a senior and flourished with national player of the year honors. Those honors have enabled him to have his No. 31 jersey retired tomorrow night at McKale Center at halftime of the USC-Arizona game.

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What is Coach Rosborough up to?

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Rosborough, 70, continues to be very active in basketball as a regional scout for the Atlanta Hawks and a consultant for the Pima College women’s basketball team. He is a good friend of Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer, whom he met when Budenholzer served as a coach in Lute Olson’s basketball camp in 1990. Rosborough has an agreement with the Hawks to scout players within driving distance from Tucson. He has driven to Albuquerque three times this season to scout Mountain West games there with the Lobos. He will likely attend the Pac-12, West Coast, WAC and Mountain West conference tournaments next month in Las Vegas. Rosborough said the possibility exists that he will become part of Todd Holthaus’ staff with the Pima women’s basketball team next season. He attends many practices now and enjoys serving as a consultant.

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Terry, 37, is incredibly in his 15th year in the NBA, the longest career span at that level of any former Wildcat.

Rosborough marvels at Terry’s longevity in the game but he is not surprised.

“I’ve been more impressed with Jason’s work ethic once he became a pro,” Rosborough said. “When the season’s over, he gets right back in the gym and really works hard to keep his body in shape. That’s the reason for his longevity.

“He has the third-highest total of three-pointers (2,038) in the history of the NBA. That’s amazing. It’s no great secret that he works hard all of the time. I remember for his 31st birthday party when he was with the Mavericks, I visited him and the first thing I saw when I got to the gym was him working hard in individual workouts and in the scrimmages. After that, the players had a voluntary run at the SMU track. Jason was right there. It was not mandatory but he went.”

Rosborough will join in the ceremony tomorrow night on the McKale Center floor with Olson and Terry’s family, friends and some of his former teammates and coaches.

“There’s only two or three of the players who are as close as Jason is to me,” Rosborough said. “I’ve tried to support him in everything that he does with the charity golf tournaments and everything else. He is a special one-of-a-kind type of guy.”

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Jason Terry proclaims UA has advanced to four Final Fours in a video released by the Arizona athletic department

Jason Terry proclaims Arizona has advanced to four Final Fours in a video released by the Arizona athletic department

ALLSPORTSTUCSON.COM JASON TERRY STORY INTERVIEWS

Bennett Davison talks about what Terry stirred up the night before the 1997 NCAA title.
Brett Hansen, former Arizona basketball media relations specialist, offers special stories about Terry, including a touching one about what Terry did for his son.

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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He has also written articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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