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Transfers form close bond

Nov. 12, 1999

By ROBBIE SINCLAIR

Reporter

DeMarcus Minor and Terry Black did not grow up together. They didn't play Super Nintendo together, study together or play basketball together.

Now, they are making up for lost time.

'It's like DeMarcus is my little brother because we're together all the time,' Black said. 'We live together. We play video games. We just have a great relationship.'

Minor, a 6-foot-5-inch guard, and Black, a 6-foot-6-inch forward, are two junior college transfers that Baylor hopes will put the Bears back on the map.

'DeMarcus is a good player,' Black said. 'He brings great leadership skills to our team. He's a competitor, and he's going to do a great job for us this year.'

Minor and Black's relationship began last year when they played against each other in the National Junior College Athletic Association championship game. Led by Black, Indian Hills Junior College defeated Minor and Barton County Community College 100-86. Minor said he still hears about it from Black, his roommate.

'When we first got here, Terry used to accidentally leave his championship rings around the house,' Minor said.

Black got two championship rings when he played at Indian Hills, located in Ottumwa, Iowa, but won his first championship at Milwaukee's Messmer High School. There, he was a two-time All-State selection and a McDonald's All-American as a senior.

'I think it helps,' Black said about coming from winning programs. 'People on the team look up to me for leadership because they know that I know what it takes to win.'

Meanwhile, Minor also spent time in Milwaukee. He played one season for the Marquette University Golden Eagles after earning All-State recognition at Lakeview Centennial High School in Garland. Following his 21-game stint at Marquette though, Barton County came calling.

'I was trying to transfer in the first place,' Minor said. 'And the coach from Barton County had sent me some paperwork on their ranking and where players go after they play for Barton County. Then the decision was easy.'

Although Minor and Black did not cross paths in Milwaukee, Black's friends and family passed Minor's name on.

'I heard DeMarcus Minor stories because he went to Marquette and I have a lot of friends who knew him,' Black said. 'But once we got on the court together we didn't even acknowledge each other because he's a competitor and I'm a competitor.'

Black finally got to see Minor in person and in action on that fateful night last year in the NJCAA championship game in Hutchinson, Kansas. Indian Hills jumped out to a quick lead, including a thunderous dunk by Black over a 7-foot-2-inch defender. Barton County tried to come back, but even Minor's 30-point effort was not enough.

'I give a lot of credit to DeMarcus,' Black said. 'If it wasn't for him, they would have lost by 40.'

Now the two are teammates, roommates and best of friends. Minor says they talk constantly about basketball, and they both know that the other will always be there to talk.

'Terry has his moments, especially lately because he's been real down on his skills,' Minor said with a sly smile. 'And me being the nice person that I am, I'm always there to help him,' he continued, before he broke out in laughter.

'But we're real, real close.'

Minor said knowing that Black was coming to Baylor made his decision to attend much easier. Several schools tried to recruit Minor, including the University of Massachusetts, the University of Minnesota, the University of Texas and head Coach Dave Bliss while he was still at the University of New Mexico.

'Everyone wants to play with great players,' Minor said. 'I heard Terry was going to Baylor, and what really weighed pretty heavily in my decision to come here was playing with Terry Black.'

Minor added that the Bliss factor also lured him to Waco.

'I had first heard of Coach Bliss when I was a senior in high school because he was sending me some mail, and then when I was at junior college they started talking to me again,' Minor said. 'But Coach Bliss is a winner, he's won everywhere he's gone. And if you can win at SMU, then I believe you can win anywhere.'

Minor and Black know it will not be easy to turn Baylor around, but they are ready to start. And they are ready to do it together.