Terriell Bradley had a decision to make little less than a year ago.
The North Texas guard had her degree in hand and a significant legacy in program history in the books.
Bradley could have walked away with a year of eligibility remaining.
The option was one she quickly dismissed.
“I felt like I had more to accomplish,” Bradley said.
That is exactly what Bradley has done in her final year with the Mean Green. She’s moved into fifth place on UNT’s all-time scoring list and was named first-team All-Conference USA for the second straight season on Monday.
The next opportunity to add to her legacy arrives on Wednesday with the beginning of the Conference USA tournament.
UNT will face Southern Mississippi at 11 a.m. in the opening round at Ford Center at The Star in Frisco.
As far as UNT coach Jalie Mitchell is concerned, Bradley enters that game with her status as a program-changing player firmly established.
The Mean Green (14-14) snapped a string of 11 straight losing seasons last year and has a chance to make it two winning campaigns in a row in the conference tournament.
Mitchell credits UNT’s improvement partly to Bradley.
“She’s a significant player in UNT history,” said Mitchell, who has her UNT No. 44 jersey retired and knows a thing or two about the program. “She has put up some impressive stats and has helped us accomplish some things that haven’t happened in a while. We had a winning record last year and were one game away from the conference tournament final. Those are program-changing accomplishments.”
Bradley enters the C-USA tournament having scored 1,394 points, an impressive total considering she is in her third season playing for UNT. She’s averaging 16.7 points per game, which ranks fourth in C-USA.
What is equally as important to Bradley is the role she has played in helping turn the program around while playing close to home.
Bradley played for Mansfield Timberview and is a short drive from home.
“I would like to think that I helped turn the program in the right direction,” Bradley said. “That is something that I will be proud of when I look back at it.”
UNT won five games the season before Mitchell took over the Mean Green’s program ahead of the 2015-16 season. Bradley arrived that same year, sat out her first season and has played a key role for UNT since.
Bradley’s parents have been in the stands for games at the Super Pit over the years and have seen her excel.
Their presence has helped Bradley develop the feeling of being at home that has helped her throughout a tough season.
Bradley developed a stress fracture in her right foot early in the season. She rarely practices in the hope she can endure the pain the injury causes as she closes out her college career.
“It’s honorable the way Terriell has played through that injury,” fellow senior guard Grace Goodhart said. “It’s not easy to play through something like that is constantly hurting. She has done it with no complaints.”
Bradley has racked up some impressive individual performances along the way. She scored 40 points in a win against North Dakota State in late November.
And that wasn’t even Bradley’s most memorable shooting night. She hit a C-USA- and program-record nine straight 3-pointers last season against Florida International and fell one short of tying the NCAA record.
“She is one of the best offensive players I have ever coached,” Mitchell said. “Her versatility is huge. She can score in multiple ways, read defenses and is very confident. She never minds taking the big shots and wants the ball in her hands. There are not many players like that.”
Bradley has fit in just as well off the floor at UNT as she has on it. UNT’s players describe Bradley as deceptively funny away from the game and calm when it’s time to play.
“There is a sense of relief stepping on the court knowing Terriell is on your team and not the other team,” Goodhart said. “It’s like playing with LeBron [James] or Steph [Curry]. She’s a great player and teammate. It’s been fun to play with someone so good.”
Bradley’s teammates are a big reason she came back for her final year with the Mean Green. She’s enjoying her time with them while studying sports management in graduate school.
“I’m happy with the way it played out,” Bradley said. “I’ve been efficient and progressed as a player. Being close to home has also worked out. That was one of the reasons I came here, to be close to family.”
Bradley will chase another milestone in her career this week during the C-USA tournament.
No matter what happens there, Bradley will leave happy she decided to return to UNT for one last season, one that further cemented her status as one of the program’s all-time greats.
“It’s nice to know that I’m in the record book and made an impact,” Bradley said. “North Texas has been a great fit.”