Derrick Mahone/Douglas County Sentinel Helping celebrated the retirement of her jersey, former Douglas County High standout Kasha Terry, center, is joined by her mother, Hilda Terry, and Tigers coach Chet Forsh.

When Kasha Terry started playing basketball as a youngster, she did it because she loved the game.

Little did she know that the sport would reap some good financial benefits, notoriety and take her around the world because of her talents.

Terry was back where her love for the sport grew as a youngster to receive a big honor. Douglas County High retired her jersey on Friday before its region games with Westlake before a capacity gym. It was also Senior Night for the current Tigers’ senior class.

“I don’t know what to say, I wasn’t really expecting it to be like this,” Terry said. “I’m really at a lost for words. I was playing a sport that I really loved and enjoyed doing. I wasn’t looking for any accolades. I just loved playing basketball.”

And she did it well.

Following her senior season at Douglas County, Terry was chosen to play in the inaugural McDonald’s All-American Game. Since that time, the game has grown into the top high school basketball honor for seniors.

She was rated among the top-20 players in the nation during her senior season for the Lady Tigers.

But to her own admittance, she wasn’t always a polished basketball player. Terry credits Douglas County coach Chet Forsh and Georgia Tech coach MaChelle Joseph with her development.

“Kasha thought she knew basketball until she got to high school,” Forsh said. “She was a very intelligent and fast learner so it made it easy. She would pick up on things real fast.”

Nicknamed “Special K”, the 6-foot-3 Terry averaged a double-double during her junior and senior seasons at Douglas County where she became an all-state player.

A 2002 graduate of Douglas County, Terry quickly made an impact at Georgia Tech, where she was one of the top recruits ever signed by the Yellow Jackets. She was earned honorable mention All-ACC Freshmen team after being sixth on the Yellow Jackets in scoring.

Known more for her defensive prowess, Terry led the ACC in blocked shoots with 70 during her sophomore season. She finished 18th in the nation in that category.

Making the transition from high school to college was easy for Terry because she said there were many similarities between Forsh and Joseph.

“They were so much alike in their coaching styles,” Terry said. “They both use to get on me a lot and made sure I was doing things right. Georgia Tech felt so much like home. I really enjoyed my time over there.”

After her eligibility was up at Tech, Terry was a second round draft choice of the Indiana Fever of the WNBA, the 26th overall pick in the 2006 draft.

She played two years for the team before being waived in May of 2008. However, a month later was signed by the Atlanta Dream and competed for a year before being waived. During her time in Atlanta, she averaged 4.6 points and 3.2 rebounds and started eight games.

Terry played overseas in Israel, Poland, Turkey and Spain.

“I loved every minutes of playing in those countries,” she said. “I never imaged that basketball would literally take me around the country. I really liked Israel because it is an amazing country. It is not really like what you see on TV, but there are some aspects of it is true.”

She is one semester away from getting her degree in management, but her full-time is now devoted to taking care of her young daughter, who was born with some breathing complications.

Terry calls it a challenge, but says basketball has taught her to meet those challenges.

“It has made me stronger as a person,” said Terry, who now makes her home in Carrollton. “Babies are stronger than we give them credit for. Basketball has been an amazing journey but the thing that has made it special was all the people that I’ve had the opportunity to me. I still have a lot of friends overseas. All this was possible because of my love for basketball.”

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