Terrance James ruled the basketball court in Class C as a Gibsland-Coleman Bulldog. Now he will become an LSU-Alexandria General. James was the 2023 Class C Most Valuable Player and was also on the 2022 Class C All-State First Team. James and the Bulldogs won the Class C 2022 State Championship and reached Marsh Madness again in 2023. The Bulldogs took the defending Division V Non-Select state champions Zwolle Hawks to double overtime where James was called on a controversial technical foul after a dunk which caused him to foul out. James did not let that stymie his swagger as went on to play in six all-star games.
James was not only a basketball star but also a track state finishing as state runner-up in the 400 and high jump and a state champ as part of the 4 x 400 relay team. The Bulldogs were state champions in 2023 for outdoor track and field and state runner-up in 2022.
Although the accolades were there, the recruiting process for James according to him was slow. “I feel like it was slow for me because of the school I went to,” James said. “I believed it was my school’s fault because I wasn’t getting the recognition but I saw that it was also on me too. I wasn’t as active with the coaches as I should have been like going to camps and such. I thought it was just a coach's part to get the kids looked at. If you are good, you still have to put in your part too. I didn’t get an offer until my senior year.”
James’ love, though, is basketball and has had offers from Centenary, BRCC, Dawson CC (Montana), South Arkansas Community College, and LSU-A for basketball. James was impressed with the coaching staff of LSU-A and incoming head coach Dimario Jackson. Jackson was the former head coach of powerhouse Port Allen who won their fourth consecutive state championship in 2023. “I liked the play style,” the Gibsland-Coleman all-star said, “I had a good connection with the coach. Playing under him is going to be something different. We have three freshmen coming, including me and some from Port Allen. We’ve got some transfers. We’ve got some holdovers from last year.” James received his offer after the day after the state banquet for basketball.
Another factor in selecting the Generals team was that they were close to home. “I didn’t want to go far from home,” James said. “If I went to Dawson, well that’s 24 hours from Gib[sland-Coleman].” The offers may have been far off, but the family support to accept any of them was there. His mother was fine even if he had chosen the Montana-based school. “She told me that any one of them was my decision,” James said. “I just didn’t want to go that far. I was thinking about it, but I didn’t want to go that far.”
James is part of the last two classes at Gibsland-Coleman that has brought the hardware home to the Bienville Parish town. In 2022, Gibsland-Coleman boys won the basketball state championship in Class C as mentioned before. The Bulldog girls brought a state championship home in track and field while the boys took the state runner-up in 2022. The two swapped in the state championship for track and field as the boys won state in 2023 and the girls finished as state runner-up. “It feels good to leave on a ‘W’,” James said.
Although James will not be roaming the halls of “Gib” in the future, the small town and school are still close to his heart. “It’s like home,” the future General said. “I still like the school. I stayed loyal to it. I wasn’t going to leave no matter what happened. All the kids in “Gib” look out for me.” James has been a Bulldog from pre-K through his senior year. He had the opportunity to go somewhere but remained loyal as a Bulldog.
The change from the small town of Gibsland to the big town of Alexandria is going to be a transition. “It’s going to be different,” the All-State MVP said. “It’s going to take some adapting. If I get a little homesick, I can make that drive. It’s not that far from Gibsland.”
James has been working on home construction over the summer which he enjoys. He plans on studying kinesiology at LSU-A but may still have a fondness to change over to construction engineering.
The Bulldog will now turn into the General and will be barking orders to seize an attack on the competition. Luckily, LSUA plays in the RRAC (Red River Athletic Conference) which includes such local teams as Louisiana Christian University in Pineville, LSU-Shreveport, and Texas A&M- Texarkana so locally we can still see Terrance James plan out an attack against his opponents.