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'I made the right choice': Aiden Terry concludes memorable 4-year career with Rutgers men's basketball

The Rutgers men's basketball team is all smiles as it lifts senior guard Aiden Terry for a slam dunk as part of a pregame ritual. – Photo by Christian Sanchez

The fan-favorite walk-on: seemingly every college basketball team has one of these players. For the Rutgers men's basketball team, senior guard Aiden Terry has assumed that role for the past four years.

Hailing from Kentucky, Terry joined the Scarlet Knights as a preferred walk-on in the 2020-2021 season.

Back in his home state, Terry attended Bullitt Central High School in Shepherdsville, where he averaged 13.5 points per game (PPG) in his senior season and was the school's second-all-time leader in assists. He then did a postgraduate year at Aspire Academy, averaging 16 PPG.

So, what brought Terry to Rutgers?

"It's every high school kid’s dream to have that D-I title by their name," Terry said. "Whenever I was at prep school, my coach knew someone (at Rutgers) … I just remember through that whole process, even being a walk-on, they would call me every day, it just felt so genuine."

Now four years later, Terry is grateful for the memories he made on the Banks.

"The friendships and all the connections I've made over the years, getting to go to two NCAA Tournaments, beat number ones, there's not a lot of people who get to do that kind of stuff," he said.

While he was primarily an end-of-the-bench guy on gamedays, appearing in just 17 games across his career, Terry's most important role with the Knights was leading the scout team in practice, where he would study and imitate the opposing teams' best guards to prepare his teammates for the real matchup.

"The dream team we call it — he's the captain of the dream team. He's Boo Buie one day, he's (Bruce) Thornton the next day," said head coach Steve Pikiell. "He is fantastic at replicating — you have to be a good actor in those positions, you got to act exactly like that player, and he's done a fantastic job of that."

Terry's finest moment on the court happened last season against Minnesota. He nailed a corner three in Rutgers' blowout victory over the Golden Gophers, and the home crowd at Jersey Mike's Arena on Livingston campus exploded.

This type of reaction for Terry is typical, as fans will often chant his name in the waning moments of blowout wins, hoping for him to check in and get a bucket.

Terry is unsure of how he became such a fan favorite, but he welcomes the love.

"I don't know where that really came from … one day, it just happened," Terry said. "It's awesome, (I) feel the love, we got the best fans."

Not only is Terry loved by fans, but his teammates love him too. At the end of warmups, before every home game, the team lifts up the 5-foot-10 guard, and he throws down a slam dunk — a pregame ritual that will be missed on the Banks.

Terry will graduate with a sports management degree in May. While juggling being a student-athlete was never easy, Terry appreciates it all.

"It's a grind … but just getting to be in this kind of environment at a school like this, I wouldn’t trade that for the world," he said.

For more updates on the Rutgers men’s basketball team, follow @TargumSports on X.

To view more of Camden Markel's work, follow @CamdenMarkel on X.

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