DAR Sports Interview: Terrell Stoglin

By @SpeedontheBeat

In January 2012, while working at the University of Maryland, I got the chance to see the Terps basketball team live for the first time in a few years. The team was led by a young brash commander named Terrell Stoglin, who had the opportunity to play for Gary Williams and Mark Turgeon. He was absolutely lights out when he got his hand on the ball, opening up opportunities for himself and the rest of the team. At the end of the 2011-2012 season, Stoglin declared himself eligible for the NBA Draft and eventually found his way to Ilysiakos B.C. in Greece to begin a fruitful career overseas. 

Now 23, I got the chance to catch up with him in a Q&A session to see how he's been since heading abroad.

Speed on the Beat: For those who haven't kept up with your story, would you mind reintroducing yourself to the Definearevolution.com audience?

Terrell Stoglin: I'm Terrell Stoglin, and I'm currently playing pro basketball around the world. This year I am back in Europe--Turkey to be exact [with Adanspor]. It's been a great journey thus far and this is just another chapter. I used to play for the University of Maryland for just 2 seasons. It was a short career, but I accomplished much during my time [there].   

Speed: So, do you keep in contact with any of the players from your years at UMD? 

Photo Credit: Terry Sosnowich

Stoglin: Yes, I stay in contact with some of the players. More of the players during Coach Williams era because that era was more like a family. All the guys that played before I am very close with.The younger guys that are there now I actually recruited with their visits to the campus. I don't know who is there now. But I know Damonte Dodd, I think and Jake Layman. Don't know anyone else.

Speed: Once you decided to pursue other options, was there ever any doubt you'd play pro ball?

Stoglin: I knew I would play pro because the ACC was very respected at the time. There were so many pros in the league at that time. I did pretty well, glory to God, so I knew I would make money playing this game.

Speed: For those unaware of the grind of the Summer League, could you give us a rundown?

Stoglin: Don't remember too much about summer league except for the politics. I played like 3 min a game--if that. Never have had a legit chance in showing them what I was capable of. That was the worse feeling. To want something so bad and be so close to just find out that it's so much more to it. Politics in life have nothing on the NBA. It was a blessing being there, though. Something I can tell my kids and grandkids. I have a child on the way so he will hear all my stories!

Speed: Congrats, brother. I've got two myself. So after your short but impressive stint in the Summer League, you ended up overseas. What are some of the differences between overseas and the NBA? 

Stoglin: Overseas basketball has actually taught me the game of basketball. The Lord has blessed me to play many places in only 3 years. Some say it's not good to move around. But, it's really what you make it. I'm a student of the game so it's actually fun to see how different countries view the game. And adjusting to their ways is always a challenge I'm up for. It honestly shows you who you are as far as your IQ for the game. I've been very successful everywhere and it just gives you an unexplainable feeling as a basketball player. Trust me!

Speed: So, last season, during your tenure with Lebanese club Sagesse, you scored 74 points in a game. Did you go out that night saying "alright! Let's just mess around and score 74 points just 'cause?" Or was it more of a right place, right time situation?

Stoglin: The 74 point game was a blessing. Nothing more to say. I had been studying some things in the Word of God the night before, even was praising God. The next day I felt good, just didn't miss. Bruce Lee says we limit ourselves so I told myself "no limits."

Speed: Backtracking a bit, The language gap. Does it keep American-born players in their own bubbles, or, for the sake of the game, does everyone learn to mesh pretty quickly?

Stoglin: Everywhere I've been I've been welcomed. The people speak English. It's not like a movie where it's a whole other world. These people are Americanized enough for you to live anywhere in Europe. Even when I was in Dubai, the people were used to Americans. It's not a problem. Plus the money's tax-free. Never go wrong with that.

Speed: Growing up, who were some of your influences, basketball or otherwise?

Stoglin: Growing up, I loved Allen Iverson. Wanted to be just like him. As I grew up I learned he wasn't the best example. But I play with my heart like he did. So I took that from his game. Kobe and Jordan are who I watch now. I study they work ethic. I know I am a point guard but our mentality are the exact same. So why not learn from guys who think like you? It's the only way to go.

Speed: Do you intend to obtain your degree, if you haven't done so already?

Stoglin: Yes, I will finish my degree some time in the next two years. Very busy at the moment and rarely have time for myself. Being a pro is funny because they think we are machines I swear (laughs). People who don't know you, judge you and the teams expect you be perfect. I don't know how the NBA is...but that's how it's in Europe. Some teams don't even care about your family situations they just want to know if you are ready to play or not (laughs).

Speed: Keeping within the guidelines of the NCAA, because I'd hate for them to come down on us, what advice would you give to the new classes? 

Stoglin: I would tell young athletes to be a pro on and off the court. Some guys get to live the college life and enjoy it. But guys like me I never could. Was always under a microscope. When your hyped up coming into college people are quick to look past your mistakes. But when you have to make a name for yourself in college you don't get the privileges to make mistakes. Make sure you think about your future. 

It's hard to do when you're just 19 or 20 because you think your going to the NBA no matter what. But, mistakes you make at 19 can hunt you until your done playing ball. I'm still trying to show people in the basketball world that I've matured. I say it like this:

It's easy to make a bad name for yourself, but twice as hard to clear it. 

Speed: Additionally, do you think colleges should allow their student-athletes, at the least, a stipend for their skills? Or is that sending the wrong message?

Stoglin: Colleges always find a way to keep their players okay as far as living goes. I don't ever think that will change.

Speed: When your career is over, what are some things you want to achieve from it?

Stoglin: I want to change lives. I need to bring more souls to Christ. I'm Pentecostal and very serious about my father (GOD) . I'll start a program for underprivileged kids or lost kids. I feel the music and VANITY has made kids forget the true purpose in life. I mean, everyone wants to be GREAT. 

But, they forget our purpose is to give and show love. We never hear kids say "I want to be a great parent when I grow up." Everyone wants to be famous or have lots of money because they programmed to think money and cars mean success. That kind of stuff only brings more problems if the foundation isn't on Christ. Trust me, I've been through so much at the age of 23. And my story has already inspired many and it's just beginning. My ultimate goal is to change lives. The world can keep the money and all that. I want to be rich in people.

Speed: Furthermore, what are three things you want people to take away from your story

Stoglin: From my story I want people to know that through my hardships I have found peace within myself. I've been at the highest point in life and at the lowest, I mean, literally, the lowest. And they need to know that there no happiness in chasing whatever America says is the "American Dream." Know that God is the only way to a happy life. I speak so firmly on it because I know from expirence. I also need the people to know that WE DON'T QUIT. We don't accept what people say we are. You must believe who you are and continue to go for it. Whatever it may be. 

Speed: Where can fans check you out and chat you up at?

My fans can hit me on Instagram or Twitter at tstoglin12. Actually seen a number of fans at my games in Italy and in Athens, Greece chanting my name how they use to do at Comcast Center. (Pauses) I noticed it's not called Comcast anymore? 

Speed: Yeah, it's the Xfinity [Comcast's new name] Center now. Wild stuff, man. 

Stoglin: I can honestly say I was happy to leave Maryland when I did. Great fans, but so many changes from when Coach W was there. Miss that atmosphere, I swear. Still wish the program the best, it's gave me an opportunity to advance in my career. 

Speed: Do you have any parting words?

Stoglin: My parting words is God Bless Terp Nation. And good luck with your career, my mans.

Speed: Thanks, man. It was a pleasure speaking with you. Best of luck this season.


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