Terrance Arceneaux is an incoming freshman at the University of Houston, who is currently 37th in the 247Sports composite rankings for the 2022 high school class. Arceneaux ended his high school career as a back-to-back state champion who hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer in the 2021 state championship to give Beaumont United the title.
Arceneaux was rated the best player at the 2021 Nike EYBL Peach Jam by Cerebro Sports with a C-RAM of 9.9, averaging 19.4 points, 6.4 boards, 1.2 steals, and 1.9 blocks per game. He's a high-level event creator on D and slasher on O, who really puts pressure on opposing defenses in the half court and in transition.
In our recent interview at the University of Houston, Arceneaux goes into his high school career, expectations in college, the drop-off from old to new Paul George shoes, and more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2022 Houston commit Terrance Arceneaux, from Beaumont, Texas:
Pro Insight: Could you share a little bit about your family and background?
Terrance Arceneaux: I live with both of my parents. I got an older brother named Brian Arceneaux. I'm from Beaumont, Texas. I go to, well I graduated from Beaumont United. A little thing about me is that I started to play basketball late, probably around 7th grade, but I fell in love with it. As soon as I stepped on the court, it was very fun and it's my passion now.
PI: What do your parents do?
TA: My dad, he works at a plant in Beaumont, and my mom, she works at FedEx. Loving parents, you know, they love and care for me so much and they've been supporting me my whole life and now it's time for me to give them joy.
PI: How did you get into basketball?
TA: I grew up watching my older brother play basketball. We used to travel with him a lot, you know. He played middle school ball. My parents didn't really believe in me playing basketball early on, but watching him just growing up, I wanted to follow in his footsteps and it just made me fall in love with the game even more seeing my big brother do it and seeing the joy on his face every time he stepped out there on the court.
PI: Why didn't your parents want you playing basketball early on?
TA: That's a good question. I never really asked them that. They just never really believed that it wasn't really competitive early on. So I guess that's the reason why, but I can't really tell you.
PI: What were the main things that your parents instilled in you growing up?
TA: Just hard work. They wake up every morning and go to work so they can take care of the family. And just knowing that if one day is bad, you still got a million other days to do something good. Just teaching me to stay focused and working hard.
PI: Did you live in Beaumont your whole life or did you move around a little bit growing up?
TA: Well, I was born and raised in Beaumont, but I went a little bit over to Lake Charles in Louisiana to where my grandma and my mom and dad’s parents live. I've been back-and-forth from there.
PI: So you mentioned that you started playing basketball late – were you always a pretty tall and athletic kid?
TA: Yeah, I really was always tall and athletic. You know, I started off playing the five. All I could do really is jump and grab rebounds, that's all I was really good for. Before, I never really touched a basketball but I always knew that I could jump and grab a ball, so that's all that I was really good for when I was young.
PI: Did you play any other sports before basketball?
TA: Baseball was my first sport. I played that for a while, I was really good at that. That was really the first sport that I thought I'd be playing that for the rest of my life until I stepped on the basketball court, but that was really my first sport. And I played basketball and football, I started that at the same time but I just fell in love with basketball.
PI: When did you quit football?
TA: My 8th grade year.
PI: How much older is your brother?
TA: He's four years older than me.
PI: I'm assuming you played basketball with him, how was that growing up?
TA: It was hard growing up, cause he was so much better than me, but you know I trained hard, worked hard, followed in his footsteps and now I beat him every time that we play. Growing up, he taught me a lot, how to be tough on the basketball court, he taught me how to shoot. He was a real good shooter growing up and he taught me different things like that.
PI: What age did you start beating him one-on-one?
TA: I started beating him around like 10th grade, I think. That's when I feel like I got real, real good at basketball, that's when I started training more. I was traveling a lot with AAU and different things like that. I was starting to find myself on the court. That's when I realized I got confident and I just started taking it to another level and I started beating him one-on-one.
PI: For those who don't know your game, how would you describe it? What are your greatest strengths?
TA: Well my best strength is getting to the rim. Hitting difficult shots, contested shots. I'm really good at hitting contested shots, you know, creating space for myself. But my real important part of my game is blocking shots, I feel like that's a really underrated part of my game. Playing defense, playing 1-through-5, I can do that. Just anything that coach needs from me, I go out there and get it done.
PI: What was the turning point in your basketball career?
TA: I feel like the turning point in my basketball career was when I met BJ Tyler. I met him going into my, well I've been knowing him cause he was training my brother, but I started training with him going into my 8th grade/9th grade summer. I got real, real good. And then 9th grade, 10th grade, I think COVID kinda started, no 10th to 11th. During that little break, COVID break, you know me and him was in the gym every day, just working on my craft and that's when I felt like I really took off.
PI: What would you say is one huge skill improvement you've made?
TA: Well shooting, I really took off in shooting. I really couldn't shoot like that back then. I got my ball handling good, though. But shooting I’d say was the most improved part of my game.
PI: What would you say is the most underrated part of your game?
TA: I think my passing. A lot of people don't really see me pass because in high school I had to play the 5 sometimes, or in EYBL I was a scorer, but I feel like people don't really notice that about my game.
PI: You're obviously committed to Houston and just moved in. What was it about the program that sold you?
TA: The first day I came up here, it was the first real campus I'd ever seen. Just talking to coach and him telling me what I needed to work on, I could just hear them talking and I know he know basketball and I feel like he can get me better. Also seeing my teammates walk around and have fun with each other, they all were willing to work and getting ready to work — I feel like I can really get better over here.
PI: Do you model your game after anyone in particular?
TA: I try to after Paul George. That's my favorite player right now, you know, I like watching him. I feel like he smooth, doesn't let anybody rush him. He gets to his spots, can make contested jumpers. He don't worry about nobody trying to beat him up or anything. So I try to model my game after him.
PI: Could you talk about your experience at Beaumont United?
TA: Oh, it was great! Meeting David Green and different things like that, that was an important part of my life, growing part of my life. Just being there with them guys, winning state back-to-back, that was real, real fun and I will never forget them guys over there.
PI: In your junior year you hit a buzzer-beating 3 to win the state championship game. Could you explain the play?
TA: I don't know if people really know this, but right before that play I rolled my ankle. I told coach, "Coach, you gotta give the ball to someone else." Then I said “never mind, Coach, just give it to me!” We were going to do a play, but we really didn’t. My point guard, he just threw the ball into Trealyn Porchia, and Porchia found me. They wanted a 2, but I just felt good with the 3 and how much space he was giving me, so I just pulled up and it went in.
PI: You grew up in Texas most of your life, you’ve played with a lot of Texas kids, who were the best that you’ve played against in Texas?
TA: I played against a lot of good kids. I can say one of them, I played Greg Brown at John Lucas camp, he was real good. I played him, man he was doing some crazy stuff, like his bounce is just crazy, the way he was taking off and different things like that. In my class, I can say I played against Terio (Arterio Morris), he's a good player, Anthony Black and them, I feel like they were good. Just different people like that.
PI: What about out of state?
TA: Out of state, I played a lot of players like Collier (Isaiah Collier). Flip (Kyle Filipowski), I think that's what they call him from New York, Rens or whatever, he was real good to me — that was a fun game. Dior (Johnson), that was a fun game as well. I feel like them guys was the toughest for me.
PI: You're just getting onto campus at Houston — what are your short term goals, personally, for this year?
TA: Just get better. Help this team win and keep the ball rolling with this team. Hopefully get better, stronger, and just get to work.
PI: What’s been your main focus in terms of skill development from the end of your senior year through the start of the upcoming season?
TA: Getting stronger. I feel like that's an important part if I want to play college, getting stronger and faster. I feel like once I get that down, the game will become easier for me.
PI: What’s the best advice you've ever received?
TA: That's a good one. I've gotten a lot of advice. I'm trying to think of that thing John Lucas told me that one time but I forgot. He said something crazy but I don't think I can say that. You know John Lucas crazy.
PI: What do you love most about basketball?
TA: Just the joy of competing, seeing the ball go through the hoop. Just competing really…I just really love to compete, so I feel like basketball is the best sport that I can compete at.
PI: Name four words that best describe you.
TA: Confident, hard-working, intelligent, and that's it — can't think of anything else.
PI: What's your all-time best memory on the basketball court?
TA: Definitely hitting the game-winner for state. That turned my life all the way around, you know, that's the turning point of my life.
PI: What are your interests off the court?
TA: Play video games, hang out with my girlfriend, hang out with my pops and my parents, different things like that. Just enjoying my family.
PI: What's something that not a lot of people know about you?
TA: I can sing.
PI: Like R&B, pop?
TA: R&B. I can sing, like a R. Kelly, Chris Brown type of level. Michael Jackson type of level. (Laughs)
PI: If you woke up one day with $10 million in your bank account, what would be the first thing you do?
TA: I'd try to invest in something. Try to go into real estate. Try to do something smart with my money. Stocks, or something like that.
PI: What's the fun thing you'd do?
TA: Fun thing?
PI: Yeah, there's got to be something fun you'd do.
TA: I'd go get a house and car. I'd build a gym in the backyard. I'd go help homeless people, maybe take them shopping or something fun.
PI: What do you hope your life will look like five years from now, both on and off the court?
TA: Definitely want to be in the NBA. Hopefully going into my third season or second season. NBA All-Star and going to win a championship on a good team.
PI: Top-five artists right now?
TA: Top-five? Youngboy for sure, Lil Baby, Drake, Rod Wave, and Lil Durk.
PI: Favorite shoe to wear on and off the court?
TA: So my favorite shoe to wear off the court right now is the Military Black 4s that just came out. I really like that colorway, that's probably my favorite shoe right now. And favorite shoe on the court, probably the Paul Georges. The one with the strap on him, the different colored ones, like the 1.5 or 2s or something.
PI: So the older ones?
TA: Yeah, those are my favorites.
PI: Have you tried the 4s or 5s?
TA: They not the same. The old ones are the best for me. I got like seven pairs right now.
PI: Lastly, at the end of the day, what do you hope to be remembered for?
TA: Doing something great in the league, in the NBA. Winning championships, winning MVPs, things like that.