I am Terri Henry and I am forever a Flying Queen. I played basketball at Wayland from 1979-1983 and this is my story.
I grew up in a farming community in Hale Center, TX. I am the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bobby McBeth and Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Henry. The farming life can be difficult at times and so my character building started pretty young. I learned how to drive tractors, tromp cotton and had lots of blisters and sunburns from hoeing cotton. I found basketball and loved it much more than tractors and hoes.
I was destined to be part of the Flying Queen legacy from a very young age. On my journey I was touched by many previous Flying Queens. I was taller than all of the kids in my school until I got to high school so everyone around me knew basketball would be a great deal for me. I reached 6 foot in junior high. Probably due to my height, I found success in basketball very early on. I played my first season at nine years old in a program called “Little Dribblers.” After that first season, I attended basketball camp at South Plain College in Levelland, TX. There, I met my first Flying Queen. Leanne Waddell spotted me pretty quickly and took me under her wing. She worked intensely with me between sessions and after dinner, filling me up with fundamentals, tips, tricks, praise, encouragement, and excellence. I am grateful to her to this day for putting my feet on the path to Wayland. I played in my first National tournament the very next season. It was sponsored by “Little Dribblers.” I played every season after that, as well as in every pick up game I could get in the neighborhood. It really didn’t matter the size or skill level of my opponents; I just wanted to improve my skills and get better and better.
My next influence was my junior high coach, Judy Bowman. Again, fundamentals, character, dedication, and excellence were emphasized and led me down the path to high school where my next Flying Queen, Babs Tatum Lombard, took my basketball career to the next level. I owe a great deal to this Flying Queen. She provided the polish that my basketball career needed. I’m sure at times it seemed like polishing an anvil.
At this point, Texas high schools still played half-court or six-man women’s basketball. My senior year in high school, that rule changed, and Texas schools adopted “five-woman” full court play. That change proved beneficial for Hale Center as we won the state that year. With a state championship and a career high game of 50 points in one game under my belt, I became marketable on the college recruiting scene.
An interesting tidbit about winning the 1979 Class AA State Championship under Babs Lombard is that while Babs was coaching at Hale Center, her husband Joe Lombard (who also played for Wayland) was coaching at Nazareth, Texas (Class B). Each of their teams went to state that year and both won the state championship in their respective classes. Babs and Joe were mentioned in Sports Illustrated for this dual accomplishment. Also, during the regular season, Hale Center played Nazareth in a tourney in Kress, Texas and Nazareth won by one point in a triple overtime. Our Hale Center school board members put a dog house with Joe’s name on it out in their front yard. It was a big fun!!!!
Becoming a Flying Queen was at last in sight. Coach Dean Weese told me that if I would sign with Wayland, I would be playing side by side with Jill Rankin, the #1 Flying Queen of all time. At my tryout for the Queens, Coach Weese put me going one-on-one with a senior All American named Kathy Harston. I won that challenge and Kathy told me I was very brazen to come at a senior that way. However, Coach Weese offered me the scholarship. I hastily signed.
Coach Weese left Wayland before the beginning of my freshman year. He took a position with the Dallas Diamonds and attempted to help get WNBA off the ground. Enter Coach Cathy Wilson, the next Flying Queen to influence my life. With Coach Wilson at the helm, we secured play-off births in two national tournaments. In 1982, we made it to the Final Four in the AIAW National Tournament and in 1983, we played in the NAIA National Tournament. When I graduated in 1983, I was 13th on the all-time scoring list with 1,248 points. I am currently 22nd on that list.
My favorite memory of my time at Wayland was playing in an international tournament in Hawaii over the Christmas break. We hung out with the Japanese team and, though we had a difficult time communicating, we had a blast with them. After my graduation from Wayland, I played another season of basketball with the Amarillo Diamonds. We won the national AAU Championship that year and I was named AAU National Free Throw Champion of 1983.
A few years later, I married a US Navy man and spent a decade in California. He served on nuclear submarines. It was a difficult lifestyle, but also a fascinating time. A little-known fact is that, when the movie “Hunt for Red October” was filmed, the submarine we served on was actually in dry dock and was in the beginning of the movie.
I taught and coached for a number of years. I now work for the City of Canyon in Planning and Development. I have four grown children, Tanitha, Kolton, Skott and Selina. I also have six grandchildren so far.
The opportunity to be a part of Flying Queens’ Basketball and its phenomenal legacy was life altering. For me, it was never just about the game of basketball. The life skills I learned through my basketball journey taught me how to live life. It taught me how to dig deeper when I had no more to give and to be thankful for the trials because diamonds come from the refining fire. I owe everything to my Flying Queen family and to Wayland Baptist University.
Wayland Grad 1983
Flying Queens Forever!