Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Chosen in NBA D-League Draft, Aquille Carr Dreams of NBA (UPDATED)
The man they call “The Crimestopper” was chosen by the Delaware 87ers in the third round of the NBA D-League Draft, but has much bigger goals for the future.
Like the other 180-odd players in tonight’s draft, 5-foot-6 Aquille Carr’s ultimate goal is to play in the NBA.
“Yeah, that’s his goal, man,” Carr’s agent, Johnny Foster, told SNY.tv Friday by phone. “You know how that is. That’s any players goal, man, to try to do that so that’s one of his main goals.”
Carr will join former St. John’s and Iona commit Norvel Pelle–– the No. 6 overall pick —former St. John’s and Rider guard Nurideen Lindsey and and former Rutgers forward JR Inman— on the 87ers, the Delaware-based D-League affiliate of the Philadelphia 76ers.
“He’s happy man,” Foster said. “He’s given a chance and he’s just ready to go play. He’s real excited, man, real excited right now.”
While each of the D-League players has his own story, Carr’s is especially captivating. He became a YouTube star because of his highlight-reel plays, and earned his nickname because it was said that when he played games at Patterson High School in Baltimore, crime stopped because everyone wanted to see him play.
In a surprise move, Carr committed to Seton Hall in January 2012 but never made it to campus. He opted to skip college in order to play professionally, in part to take care of his now 1-year-old daughter.
He then spent part of the summer on a barnstorming tour of China that featured Tracy McGrady.
“He was in China,” said Van Whitfield, Carr’s former coach at Princeton Day (MD) Academy. “After he came back from China he immediately went into training mode. He was offered a contract in China but I think at this point he’s got a commitment to his family and his daughter in particular. He didn’t feel that he could raise a child being a continent or several continents apart.”
Said Foster: “The adjustment part, we felt it was best for him to stay here and go this route.”
Though Carr stands only 5-6, both Whitfield andFoster, believe he can make it to the NBA one day.
“You gotta look at Earl Boykins, how tall is Earl Boykins?” Foster asked of the 5-5 former NBA guard. “It’s something that the kid can do. The kid is tough-minded and he got the drive. That’s something he want to do, man. I don’t put it past him, man. At this point, a lot of people have put a lot of stuff past him because of his size, but he’s going to prove a lot of people wrong, too.”
“I think it’s a realistic goal,” Whitfield said of the NBA. “I think Aquille is a unique talent, perhaps one that we haven’t seen in quite some time. I think his unique skillset obviously comes with certain challenges but I think it also comes with certain rewards. And I think the right team in the right system is going to benefit.
“I think that’s something the learned in China. He played on a tour with former NBA greats and players, but he also had the opportunity to play alongside serious upper-level players in China and did quite well.
“I think he wants to demonstrate he can run an offense, he can defend, he can play within a system while also bringing the unique skillset that only he has in that package.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.