Terry Furlow and unrealized potential

July 6, 2012 in Professional

By Patrick Hayes

Covering basketball in Flint for a few years the Flint Journal, I quickly learned that although the players who made it out of Flint and found college or pro success are the big names people remember and talk about around the state, the guys who didn’t completely realize their potential are the ones who the old-timers in the city still always talk about. One of those players is former Flint Northern and Michigan State player Terry Furlow, who was off to a strong start as a NBA player before he died in a car crash at just 25-years-old.

East Lansing coach and writer Steve Finamore recently did a must-read profile of Furlow:

I reached out to George Hamo a Flint native and asked him his thoughts on Furlow:

Shit, I played against him, they had him and Wayman Britt. They played for Bill Frieder at Flint Northern. One of best teams in Flint history, I believe they were undefeated their senior year. Britt and I guarded each other. Then we all played together on Flint’s USA-Canada team. We kicked Canada’s ass every game. Terry was a pure shooter-one of the all time best.

During his days as a Spartan, Furlow took a liking to a young high school standout from around the way.

In his autobiography, “My Life”, Magic Johnson writes about how Furlow took him under his wing while he was at Everett High School. Johnson would play in pickup games and team up with Furlow.

“Young fella, you’re gonna hang out with me.” Furlow said to Magic one night after a game.

My friend and former colleague Eric Woodyard also wrote a fantastic profile of Furlow in SLAM Magazine a couple years ago and I interviewed Woodyard about his story while I was still at the Journal. Make sure you check out Finamore’s entire post, too.