Terry Armstrong’s Journey Back to the Top
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on The Left Bench in May of 2018. Terry Armstrong has since committed to Arizona in October 2018, one of five players committed to the Sean Miller’s Class of 2019. Photo courtesy of Jon Lopez/Nike, 247Sports
After his freshman season at Carman-Ainsworth High School, Terry Armstrong was one of the most highly-touted basketball recruits in the country.
As one of the nation’s most explosive guards, Armstrong was ranked in the ESPN Top 25 for the class of 2019 and was being recruited by dozens of top-level collegiate programs.
However, after transferring schools twice during his sophomore year for athletic reasons, the Flint, Michigan, native was deemed ineligible to play by the Michigan High School Athletic Association for the entirety of his second high school season.
“It was a hard time,” said Armstrong. “I just wanted to find the best fit for me.”
Having missed an entire season and unable to build upon his impressive freshman campaign, Armstrong started to hear less from major programs and plummeted in national rankings to No. 115 where he is currently placed.
But Armstrong has put his past behind him and is looking to show college coaches and the rest of the county what they were missing out on.
After deliberating with his family, Armstrong decided to settle at Bella Vista College Preparatory School in Scottsdale, Arizona, in an effort to revamp his career. At Bella Vista Prep, Armstrong would be coached by basketball development guru Kyle Weaver.
Weaver, who was also starting his first season at Bella Vista, rose to fame coaching at Hillcrest Prep in Phoenix, making the program a national powerhouse and developing players such as 2018 consensus first-team All-American Deandre Ayton.
“I think it’s the best fit for me,” said Armstrong, “I’m playing against top players and our coach has great connections.”
As one of the top players in the state of Arizona, Armstrong thrived in the more competitive environment, showcasing his versatile skill set.
“I can pass and score at all three levels,” said Armstrong. “My midrange dribble pull-up is probably my best weapon.”
Along with Armstrong’s talent, his coach thinks the four-star recruit’s love for basketball sets him apart at this level.
“A lot of great players don’t love the game,” said Weaver, “but he does, and he works his butt off to show that.”
While Armstrong may be the most talented scoring guard in the 2019 class according to Weaver, he and his coach admitted he has to improve some aspects of his game, specifically Armstrong’s leadership, communication and his role as a point guard.
While three skills can make a basketball player individually, perfecting all three can make a player like Armstrong an unstoppable force.
“He started talking a lot more,” said Weaver, “I really push him to be a vocal leader that our team needs.”
Weaver also stated that, as Armstrong becomes more vocal, his transition to playing point guard would make the process faster and his ceiling at the position even higher.
“I try to turn all my players into point guards somewhat,” said Weaver. “It can only help.”
Looking forward to the next level Armstrong, hasn’t given any thought to where he might go and will not start to think about it until after he makes his school visits over the summer.
However, it’s safe to say Armstrong has the attention of the nation’s top programs once again.
“He got offers from Oklahoma, Florida State, and a few others,” said Weaver, “But just this week 10 other schools have contacted me about Terry.”
Committed. BearDown????⬇️ pic.twitter.com/yVHHIRXUg5
— Terry Armstrong (@TerryTerry25) October 25, 2018
Armstrong continued to work hard and make up for the time he lost earlier in his high school career, showing out as one of the best players on the Nike EYBL circuit in the summer of 2018. He finished top 10 in scoring with 20.4 points per game and added 5.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists per contest, too, according to Rivals.
“I just felt like it was the best fit for me,” Armstrong told Rivals in October after committing. “I really liked the coaching staff and the environment there. I will be able to come right in and make an impact at the wing spot.
“I had a good time with the staff and players,” he added to Rivals about his visit to Arizona before he committed. “They treated me like I was already on the team. The people in Tucson were very nice, and I just felt really good about being there.”