Chris Carter is a 25 year old 195cm guard that was born in Brooklyn, New York and is from Port St. Lucie, Florida that will go into his third professional season and second in Germany and first with SC Rasta Vechta (Germany-ProA). Last season he played for BV Chemnitz 99 (Germany-ProA) playing 40 games averaging 12.4ppg, 4.2rpg, Assists-4(5.7apg), Steals-4(2.1spg), FGP: 53.0%, 3PT: 34.5%, FT: 73.4%. As a rookie he played for Bipa Basket Odessa (Ukraine-SL Favorit Sport) playing 32 games averaging 14.0ppg, 4.7rpg, 5.0apg, Steals-1(2.2spg), FGP: 44.1%, 3PT: 27.4%, FT: 77.3%. He started his basketball career at Air Force (NCAA) and then played the last three years of school at Florida Tech (NCAA2) and as a senior played 21 games averaging 14.0ppg, 4.9rpg, 3.8apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 46.9%, 3PT: 38.4%, FT: 75.8%. He spoke to German Hoops about Basketball.
Chris thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how is your summer coming along?
Hello Miles, I hope all is well. Thanks for this interview I am currently back home doing some traveling around the states working out and getting ready to head out in the next few weeks back to Germany. My summer is coming along okay. I just got back from a China tour so I have been pretty busy with basketball.
You share the same name, but the legendary NFL wide receiver is spelled Cris. How often do you get asked about Chris Carter who shares your name?
I don’t really get asked that question much. I think my name is pretty cool and my goal is to make people think of a great basketball player when they hear the name Chris Carter.
How thankful are you in general for going into your third professional season when you look at a very talented guy like your ex teammate Jermaine Jackson who put big stats up at Florida Tech like you, but has nothing on his basketball resume except for playing in the semi-pro league UBL?
I am very thankful and blessed to be heading into my third professional basketball season. It’s a shame that my college teammate Jermaine didn’t get an opportunity to showcase his talents on the court at the European level. He is a great player and would have no problem scoring with the best in Europe. Maybe this summer he will get his opportunity. Overall, I am grateful that my agency, and Bipa Odessa gave me the opportunity to start my professional career.
Congrats on signing with Rasta Vechta. You had a solid season with BV Chemitz that was so close to moving up to the BBL. How difficult was it leaving this very ambitious organization?
Thank you Miles. I am happy to be a part of this new team and hope to have an excellent season with Rasta Vechta. It was very tough leaving the Chemnitz family. The team, coaching staff, and fans were very good to me. I am grateful for the organization for giving me a chance to showcase what I can do. Fortunately, we had a good enough season that opened up other doors for me to be successful and I took the opportunity with Vechta.
You move from one ambitious organization to the next with Rasta Vechta who want to move right back to the BBL next season. What was most key for you signing with them?
I am aware this organization has high expectations for their future and I just wanted to be a part of something special. They have a great coach in Coach Spradley, an excellent fan base, and BBL resources that together influenced my decision to sign with them and join the Vechta family.
How did you experience your third summer on the transfer market. Did you have some offers where you had to really dig down deep to decide that Rasta Vechta was the best opportunity?
In terms of the market this summer, I had some strong interest from some other leagues in other countries, but nothing substantial. I knew I wouldn’t mind playing in Germany again and did not want to prolong the signing process deep into the summer. It was mainly between Chemnitz and Vechta and after careful thought and consideration I made my decision.
When the Rasta Vechta roster is set, you will have more skilled players as a whole then what you had with BV Chemnitz. What will be your personal goal on the court this season besides trying to win every game?
Besides trying to win as much games as possible, my personal goal on the court this season is to make my teammates better in any way I can. I understand that you can’t get the great personal accolades such as Player of the Year and, Defensive Player of the Year unless you are winning ball games, making a deep push in the playoffs, and getting into that Championship series. Of course, I have personal goals that I want to reach, but it starts with being a leader and pushing my teammates to buy in and achieve great success this season.
Let´s talk a little about last season. You suffered a tough 5 game series loss to Gotha. Was game 5 the toughest loss you have ever had to digest in your professional career and college?
Gotha was a very good team and hats off to their organization for pulling off the come from behind victory. At the end of the day, they got it done and we didn’t. It was a hard-fought game 5 at home and we fought hard but unfortunately it was not enough. Yes, it was one of my toughest losses in my basketball career, but I learned a lot about myself, and different situations that I will handle differently.
BV Chemnitz was up 2-0 and lost 3-2. All three games were close. What do you feel was the difference in the series?
I feel like executing down the stretch and rebounding was our Achilles heel in that series. I wish we could have had a few more possessions back but it is what it is. You live and you learn.
What is your summary of the season? BV Chemnitz had three match balls for the BBL, but failed. Did the club still exceed expectations or not?
I thought we had an excellent season and achieve a lot of goals as a team. I think nobody in the league thought Chemnitz would finish 3rd in the league and a few possessions from entering the BBL. Of course, It would have been awesome to win and have the opportunity to advance, but I thought we did well as a team and an organization.
You had a super second professional season averaging 12.4ppg, 4.2rpg, Assists-4(5.7apg), Steals-4(2.1spg), FGP: 53.0%, 3PT: 34.5%, FT: 73.4%. How satisfied were you with your season. You do so much on the court do still feel like you could have been even more of a scorer in key moments of games?
I thought I had a solid second professional season in terms of stats. There are things I definitely plan on improving for next season. I had too many turnovers to my assists, and I need to improve on my 3-point shooting, overall scoring and rebounding. I pride myself on being a stat filler which allows me to be more versatile on the court and maximize the minutes that I play. I need to be more aggressive on my reads moving forward. A lot of my turnovers came from forcing passes that were not there when I should have just trusted my own shot more in late game situations. It is a learning experience and I will get better this upcoming season.
How important was it for your game to have experienced Virgil Matthwes on the court? Was it blind trust after a while with you two guys on the court?
Having a chance to play alongside Virgil was instrumental for my basketball career. He is a veteran with a strong IQ of the game and excellent in reading pick and roll situations. I tried to mimic a lot of what he did and blend that in to my game and I feel like it made me a better player. We complimented each other’s game very well and made it hard on teams in the league because it didn’t matter who had the ball in their hand.
You’re a guy that can really fill up the stat sheet, but what do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away on the court?
A hidden strength in my game is my leadership skills. I try to find a way to bring the best out of players on the team and hold everyone including myself accountable. I try to compete at a high level every day in practice and really push my teammates so we will be ready for the game. I don’t know if it’s a hidden strength, but my thinking is if we can have a great practice every day and get better than we were the day before, we are making strides forward. If we have a bad practice as a team I take it personally.
As a rookie you played for Bipa Basket Odessa (Ukraine-SL Favorit Sport) playing 32 games averaging 14.0ppg, 4.7rpg, 5.0apg, Steals-1(2.2spg), FGP: 44.1%, 3PT: 27.4%, FT: 77.3%. What was your wake up call to being a rookie in Europe where you knew that you were far away from home in Port St. Lucie, Florida
Well as soon as I got to Ukraine, I knew right away I was in for a wake up call. In terms of on the court, the physicality was something I had to get used to very quickly and adapt. I was not getting any foul calls on my layups at that level so then I started trying to dunk on whoever was in my way. I also had to become more patient on the pick and roll situations and really learn how to read defenses.
In your rookie season you were the lone American on the team. How important was it for you having to really be on your own instead of having a few Americans around you who could of helped you adjust easier?
I was the lone American on my team in Ukraine and in result made a conscious effort to learn the Russian language. Even today, I can still hold my own in short dialogues. I think it was a blessing in disguise because I learned how to be a man and not rely on anyone to take care of me. Also, the fans embraced me more when they noticed that I was making an effort to learn their language and culture so I cant complain one bit.
You started your NCAA career at the Air Force (NCAA) playing 23 games averaging 1.6ppg, 1.4rpg. Despite only being there a year, what positives could you take to with you?
Because I went to a military school, I learned discipline, leadership, and the importance of we over I. Certain things like keeping a tidy house at all times, being vocal on the court, and being a good teammate can all be contributed to my stay at the Air Force.
You continued at Florida Tech and played under head coach Billy Mims. How did he groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
Billy Mims is a great coach. He has coached professionally in England for about 10 years before he came over to Florida Tech. He runs a pro style offense and went about practice in a very professional manner. He threw me in the captains position right away which was different for me but I got used to it . He put a lot of trust and faith in me to make the right decision within the offense. Most importantly, the best thing coach Mims did for my career was switch me from the shooting guard position to the point guard position my junior and senior year. That allowed me to get familiar with ball screen situations as well as running the floor with ease. I feel like this allowed to become a versatile player because I can play whatever the coach needs me to at any time and do it very efficiently.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Jermaine Jackson?
Jermaine usually got the best of me one on one but we used to go at it. He just had so many ways of scoring the ball. I would win some once in a while though.
How does a normal summer work out day look like for you on and off the court and what are the main things you will be working on in your game?
On a normal day, I try to hit the weight room for an hour, do some sort of cardio for an hour (boxing, swimming, or running), and then get some court work later in the day and repeat. When I’m not working out, I’m either stretching, relaxing and icing. This off season I will be working on my shot, ball screen situations, and my overall aggressiveness.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore which 4 heads would you chose?
In no particular order: Jordan, Kobe, James, Shaq
Lebron James failed to win his fourth NBA title and has three to Michael Jordan´s 6. There are so many experts that keep proclaiming that Lebron is the best of all-time. Where do you rate him in the neverending debate about who the best of all-time is?
He is not better than Jordan yet. Jordan has more killer instinct but Lebron will get better.
There has been criticism of Russell Westbrook to be focusing more on rebounding to help inflate his stats and possibilities of getting triple doubles instead of focusing on his defensive assignments. Do you feel that this is a fair assessment to the player Russell Westbrook?
I feel like every guard should focus more on rebounding. If the big men on your team boxes out their assignment, it is important for guards to help out. That being said, I admire the way Westbrook plays the game with such tenacity and authority. One triple double is hard to get in a person’s career. To average that for the season is incredible and he is well deserved of the MVP.
How do you summarize the 2017 NBA Draft. What sleepers do you see playing a role in the NBA? It was okay.
I didn’t really watch college basketball this season so I couldn’t really assess everyone fairly. I do like that Dennis Smith Jr. guy though.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Get out/ Life of Pi.
Thanks Chris for the chat.