Terez Van Pelt grew up on the south side of Chicago, in a neighborhood called Altgeld Gardens. A neighborhood filled with violence and drugs, leaving hobbies like basketball to be perceived as a way to escape the harsh living conditions faced on a day to day basis. Basketball has always brought joy to Van Pelt’z life and his love for the game started at 8 years old competing against kids in his neighborhood at Terry Cummings Camps. Street ball was extremely popular in his neighborhood and -believe it or not – that taught him to become a proficient ball handler. The transition to organized basketball was seamless. Terez finished his high school career at Osseo High School, where his team finished third in state with a record of 29-3. That propelled the opportunity of continuing his basketball career with a scholarship to Concordia University, St. Paul where he finished as the second all-time leading scorer.
Continually, the process of making it on a professional basketball team roster helped him grow closer to God and find his purpose. Throughout the different challenges he faced, he relied on prayer and eventually found himself mentoring young athletes in the community where he finished my student teaching clinical. “Blessed Beyond Basketball” is a quote he lives by. It highlights the importance of gratitude and finding time to thank the Lord for what He has done on and off the court. Players who put God first and display gratitude has a certain appreciation for the game and he believe’s it enhances their chances to be great.