PEPPER PIKE, Ohio - Celtics breakout star point guard, Terry Rozier, is known as "Scary Terry," but his mother, Gina Tucker, said it was fear that motivated her to move six-year-old Rozier from Youngstown, where she lived, to Shaker Heights with Rozier's grandmother.
"That was a huge thing for him cause we were together all the time," Tucker said.
"At first he acted out. He didn’t understand why he couldn’t be with me. We didn’t tell him everything that happened with his father."
Rozier's father went to jail. Tucker was concerned for her children's safety. But ultimately Rozier used the pain in his play.
"After a while, it was a blessing because he turned that energy into drive," Tucker recalled. "It was so crazy he worked all day he didn’t want to eat sometimes. Even as a young kid he stayed outside and played and played and played."
After successful stops at Shaker Heights High School, Hargrave Military Academy and the University of Louisville, Rozier returned to Cleveland in the Eastern Conference finals as a starting guard for the Celtics.
An emotional Tucker said, "I get teary-eyed every time I talk about it because I know his struggles. I know everything he pushed through as far as grades, school, people and I am just so proud, so happy for him. I just keep pushing him."
And while fear affected him as an amateur, it's his fearlessness that's defining him as a professional.
"It doesn’t matter who you are or how big you are. He is fearless," Tucker said with a smile. "This is just the beginning. He is going to be great and I tell him that all the time he is going to be great."