By Paige Nash
Gibsland-Coleman Bulldog Terrance James has been named the Louisiana Class C Player of the Year for 2023, making him the first Bulldog to receive this honor in 24 years.
The last basketball player who was named ‘Player of the Year’ from Gibsland-Coleman High School was Bernard King, in 1999.
When James began playing basketball just 5 years ago he was not aware of the opportunities that the sport would provide for him. He said, “I thought it was just fun to play at first until I got serious about it and started training to be the best player I could be and leave one of the best resumes at my school.”
He is currently ranked as the number 13 overall player and number 4 small forward in the entire state of Louisiana. He has racked up on awards and honors over his career, which began his eighth grade year when he received the Coach’s Award. That was just the start. James went on to make 1st Team All-District his sophomore year along with, Most Consistent, Most Effective, Most Blocks, Best Rebounder and Best Scorer.
His junior year, he led the Gibsland-Coleman team to a state championship win and was named District Most Valuable Player (MVP) and 1st Team All-State.
This 2022-2023 season – his senior year – he made 1st Team All-District, the 1st Team Shreveport All-Area team and named the Class C MVP. He also received an invitation to five All-Star games which included, the Louisiana High School Coaches Association/Louisiana High School Basketball Coaches Association (LHSCA/LHSBCA) game, Ruston, Centenary, Beast of the Week and Fastbreak All-Star games. But the icing on the cake was- Class C Player of the Year.
Being considered for this recognition, much less actually receiving it was not on the radar for the Bulldog. “Coming from a small school most talented people get overlooked,” said James.
He reflected on the five short years of his career and recalled a time soon after Kobe Bryant passed away. “My mom told me that if I couldn’t do the number 24 justice, then I needed to get a new number,” said James. “I’ve played hurt, I’ve played sick, but I never threw in the towel. If I’m not in a classroom or at work, I’m in a gym or a court somewhere.”
Along with multitudes of talent on the court James also takes his studies seriously, retaining a 3.4 grade point average his senior year. He plans to attend college upon graduation this spring to major in construction engineering, along with continuing his basketball career.
“I’ll be an engineer or I’ll play in the NBA (National Basketball Association),” said James. “Either way, I’m going to be set.”
Currently he has not decided which college he will attend just yet, but he does not plan to travel too far from his hometown of Gibsland. He said, “I gave Gibsland my all my entire career and I would love to stay local so the people that watched me play can travel to see me play at the next level. Whatever school chooses me will get a good person and a DAWG on the court.”
In recognition of Terrance James being named Louisiana Class C Player of the Year for 2023, the Louisiana Association of Basketball Coaches will be presenting him with an award during their upcoming 49th Annual Award Banquet in Baton Rouge. The banquet will be held at the Baton Rouge Marriot on May 6 at 6 p.m.
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