Florida State forward Terance Mann is having a fantastic run with his team during March Madness in 2019. Entering the big dance as #4 seed after losing to Duke in the ACC Tournament, the 6 foot 6′ senior from Lowell, Massachusetts has helped his team move forward, scoring 19 points in the Round 1 game win against University of Vermont, and 18 points in the defeat over Murray State in Round 2. More than just a key player on the team, Mann has helped keep his team emotionally strong after fellow senior forward Phil Cofer lost his father, Michael, and opted out from playing in the NCAA Tournament.
“He’s helped a lot, guard Trent Forrest said to the Orlando Sentinel. “He’s still been upbeat because he knows he’s a leader on this team. He… comes in every day the same guy. He has his times when it bothers him, but once we get together, he puts it on the back burner.”
Without Colfer, Mann is the only senior who’s played for FSU his entire college career. The 22-year-old athlete’s love for the game and strong will can be accredited to his supportive family, including his mother Daynia La Force, who used to play at Georgetown, and who’s coached Division 1 Women’s NCAA basketball teams for 23 years, his brother Martin, who also plays college ball, and his father, Eustace, who used be a soccer player. Elite athletic genes run deep in the Mann family.
Here’s what you need to know about Terance’s parents and younger brother:
1. Terance’s Mother is His Basketball Mentor
Terance basically grew up on the basketball court, and his mother, Daynia La-Force, who coaches college basketball taught him how to count by reading players’ jerseys on the court. “He’s learned everything from being on a basketball court, everything about life,” La-Force said, who used to play herself at Georgetown, and coached the University of Rhode Island’s NCAA women’s team for five years before being released with a year left on her contract in March 2019.
La-Force made history has the first head coach of color at URI, and has an overall career record of 158-263. And while she makes sure to text her son on game day to wish him luck, afterward, the two have thorough discussion on his performance. “He always listens, wants to talk, sometimes giving me his side of the story,” she said. “Then I have to say, ‘No, no, no, this is what I saw.”
Of his relationship with his mother Terance said, “I wouldn’t say it’s like a coach and player relationship. I feel like she’s my mentor. She’s my mom, of course. But I feel like she’s always trying to give me life lessons like a mentor. Whatever happens, I’ll go to her and ask her for advice and she’ll have the right answer. Sometimes it’s not the answer that I want, but it’s always right.”
2. His Brother Martin Plays Ball for Pace University
The basketball genes did not miss as Terance’s younger brother, Martin, who’s currently a freshman at Pace University, received a full scholarship to play in the Northeast 10. In high school, her was a four year starter and two-year captain at Lawrence Academy, and played for the DC Devils AAU Program. According to the New England Report, he was rated as one of the Top 35 players of the Massachusetts Class of 2018.
Similar in build to his older brother, Martin is 6 foot 7 inches and also plays forward. In the 2018-2019 season at Pace, he averaged 13 points a game.
3. Terance’s Father Wanted Him to Be a Soccer Player
Like father, like son? Not so much for Terance and his dad, Eustace, who resides in Maryland. Since his father was an elite soccer player in his prime, he initially tried to get his son into the sport as well. Even his basketball mother of a coach encouraged him to play soccer. But it just wasn’t in Terance’s heart.
“My mom and dad pushed it a lot,” Terance said of playing soccer. “[My Dad] used to drive me to games everywhere, all around the country. I played soccer for a long time, but I got too tall so they just said to stick with basketball. It was basically my parents pushing me, being there all the time and taking me places.” Once Terance got back on the basketball court, the rest was history. And his father can be seen in the stands at every NCAA tournament game.
4. His Mom Coaches Him To Be A ‘More Aggressive’ Player
“He still values being the glue guy and making the extra play,” Daynia said of her son’s abilities. “I want him to fall in love with being more aggressive. He’s always been a skilled player who can shoot from inside or outside.”
Terance agrees with his mother not just because a mother’s always right, but because he agrees. Mann said, “I have to have a bigger role on both sides — that has meant more scoring but also guarding and going after best player.”
Even FSU’s head coach, Leonard Hamilton, likes Daynia’s assessments of Terance’s game. He said, “There’s a lot of positives growing up in a house with a coach. He always seems to have a clear understanding of how the game needs to be played. With that skill and knowledge he’s going to be a guy our players are going to look to.”
5. Terance’s Family are His Biggest Fans
Event hough Martin has his own budding career, his mother has her own team to coach, and his father lives in Maryland, they all travel to support Terance in the tournament. While they can’t make it to every game during the regular season, when the big dance comes, they are there. And they all show their love on social media, tweeting out support for #14.