Despite COVID Ending Rostock´s Season Abruptly It Could Still Be A Happy Ending For Chris Carter

When you hear the name Chris Carter in German basketball, the first thing that comes to mind is winner. The guy has proved that he can play at the easyCredit BBL level even if he didn´t get the minutes that he may have wanted in Vechta, he still shined there with his unending work ethic and leadership qualities despite having to accept not having the type of role he had had in the Pro A. He took it like a true competitor and still was the teams biggest towel waver the way Boston Celtics fans witnessed in the 80´s with ML Carr. But where Chris Carter has really made a name for himself has been in the Pro A. He helped Rasta Vechta reach the easyCredit BBL in 2018 and did again last season with the Niners Chemnitz. Instead of remaining in Chemnitz, he took on the next challenge with the very ambitious Rostock Seawolves to try to help his third Pro A team reach the first division in Germany. The Rostock SeaWolves have been one of those very very serious teams that would do all it could to move up which showed when they hauled in legendary coach Dirk Bauermann. The club had a very potent season belonging to the top 4 teams in the regular season and made the playoffs. They had a tough playoffs where they had a 2-4 record and were in danger of not making their BBL goal. But then the Pro A season abruptly ended because COVID had to rear it´s ugly head into the affairs of the Pro A. But all isn´t lost yet. The 20-21 season could still have a happy end for the Rostock SeaWolves and Chris Carter, but the way COVID has played with the feelings, hearts and patience of everyone, the American who believes when all is said and done that Chris Paul will be an all-time top 3 point guard in the NBA may not be able to enjoy it as one would think. The Pro A final is between Heidelberg and Leverkusen, but since Leverkusen will remain in the Pro A, there will be one spot left. That will be determined with a wild card auction between Rostock, Vechta and BBL team Giessen. “At this point I don’t care if they do or they don’t. If they do move up great, if not that is okay too. I know the wildcard is not easy to get and will be expensive. We will see”, stressed Chris Carter. 

                Carter who played at Florida Institute of Technology (NCAA2) before turning professional had a tough season with COVID, but so did thousands of other players all around the globe like a Eric Kibi who balled in Germany years ago in Herten and Rendsburg lived a few days at the Buenos Aires airport and got to know what it felt like for the Tom Hanks character in “The Terminal”. It wasn´t quite that drastic for Chris Carter, but still it was a lifestyle that wasn´t normal. If you were to take 10 random players in Germany, you could bet that 8 out of 10 players would have the same two answers that Carter had concerning what the toughest adjustments were during the brutal COVID season. “Playing an entire season with no fans, and not being able to really do anything outside of being home was the most frustrating due to the fact that we were on a hard lockdown for most of the time”, explained Chris Carter. The American who believes the sky is the limit for NBA super star in the making Jayson Tatum who recently scored 60 points remembers one prime example just how crazy this season was. “The fact that Jena was pretty much in first, second place the entire season and then they get covid the week before the playoffs and had to forfeit the game with a 20 point deficit put them in 4th place was crazy”, stated Chris Carter. The club was battling in the playoffs and played their hearts out leaving everything on the floor and returning to the locker room drenched in sweat, with heavy emotions and had that special adrenaline rush that you don´t get on a daily basis. Soon after you learn the season is over. All the hard work didn´t pay off. “Ending the season like that was very disappointing. We had the team and the means to but just did not get it done. We can make lots of reasons why but at the end of the day we did not get it done. That is life”, stressed Chris Carter.

                The Rostock SeaWolves had a very strong roster and the season had three faces. The club started off very positively finding that groove early winning 10 of 12 games, but then suffered a lull having an unsatisfactory 5-5 record, but then busted open again finishing the season strong having a 11 game winning streak and taking momentum into the playoffs. Carter who doesn´t believe that Golden State Warrior versatile forward Draymond Green is the best defender of all-time, but gives him credit for his confidence had a simple explanation for the mid season blues on the team. “We had a really good team this year. Great guys and it was fun to be a part of. The only reason we went 5-5 was because we had 6 different injuries that we had to deal with.”, remembered Chris Carter. Rostock understood how to put up a heavy dose of points averaging 87 per game and even if they couldn´t get that consistent Bauerman imprint on the defensive end allowing 81 points per game, they did have their moments during the season. They did master some defensive gems keeping teams to under 70 points four times. He definitely witnessed two very very explosive offenses in Chemnitz and Rostock where he was an instrumental part of. “One type of offense was more up tempo and the other was a bit slower and strategic”, said Chris Carter. The club then strolled into the playoffs with their heads riding high and sprouting with a confidence level as high as what a Russell Westbrook has each game when he is staring into the eyes of his opponent. But anything can happen in the game of basketball. Sometimes one result can impact the way a club plays there after and can also have a mental effect when you lose an annoying nail bitter the way they did 85-81 in the first game of the playoffs against Science City Jena. . “It would have been nice to win the Jena game away and I´m sure that would have changed the course of the playoffs but you can’t cry over spilled milk”, commented Chris Carter. After that they lost the second game to the Artland Dragons which hurt. A win there could of stabilized them going into back to back games against the rising Bayer Giants Leverkusen which they both lost. Then the nail was put on the coffin with a brutal and antagonizing 80-79 loss to Artland. Carter is 100% certain that fatigue didn´t get into the way of the team searching for success in the post season. I don´t want to know how Dirk Bauermann was coping the days after the season ended, because a guy like that is used to winning. “He is a fierce competitor and always wanted to win”, remembered Chris Carter.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing legendary head coach Dirk Bauermann at the 2007 German BBL allstar game in Cologne, Germany

                The American who doesn´t agree with Croatian legend Dino Radja and his bold statement that Russell Westbrook wouldn´t have success in Europe leading a team to success if given the chance had a group of teammates that he enjoyed leading to success. One of those was Trevor Lacey  who had a phenominal senior season at North Carolina State and as a professional played in Italy and Russia and brought a great resume to Rostock with 38 Eurocup games under his belt. You seldom see a player of his caliber in the Pro A. “Trevor is a great player and great guy off the court too. I learned a lot from him for sure and I am sure he will be playing at a very high level next season”, warned Chris Carter. The vast experience didn´t end there as the club also was able to haul in a player like Brad Loesing who had played five seasons in the easyCredit BBL with teams like Ludwigsburg, Oldenburg and Wurzburg amassing a total of 136 games. “Brad is a great leader who really sets the tone on the defensive end picking up the other teams ball handler. He also can get buckets on offense too. I had a great time playing with Brad this season and he would be a vital part for anybody’s team”, stressed Chris Carter. One has to also give some credit to head coach Dirk Bauermann for not only doing the routine thing of bringing in five or six Americans, but mixing it up a bit and bringing in some different nationalities to spice up the basketball culture which he did with Latvian big man Ronalds Zakis and Behnam Yakhchali from Iran who had played for his country at the 2019 World Cup in China averaging 12,0pp. He was another player where Carter could profit from on the floor as playing with so much talent can only help one´s game further. “Behnam is a silent killer. Very skilled player offensively with great size and can pretty much do everything. I think he was a great team player who played with a lot of confidence and he is paving the way for Iranian basketball coming over to the European market. He has a bright future”, warned Chris Carter.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber has been covering Chris Carter for years in Germany. This was in Frankfurt in 2019 when he was with Rasta Vechta

                The American who saw the Coming to America sequela and like others believe that they shouldn´t have touched the classic movie had another very solid Pro A season averaging 9,7ppg, 3,2rpg, 5,6apg and 1,3spg while shooting 38% from outside. The guy has put up consistent stats in the Pro A for years and at this point of his career knows what to expect and has that certain confidence level that will help him be successful and consistent. “I thought this was a decent season for me. I think there is always room for improvement. But I think when I was at the point this season the ball moved well and we got some really good looks”, stressed Chris Carter. He scored in double figures in 15 games and had 10 assists in three games and had 7 assists or more in 10 games. He had a span in February and March where he scored in double figures in nine of ten games. Overall he did a fine job of having that stellar balance as a point guard between scoring and setting up his teammates. “It’s always tricky when you have a lot of good players keeping everyone happy but that is my job as a point guard while staying aggressive”, said Chris Carter.  His favorite game and most memorable was his 29 point explosion in the heartbreaking loss to Jena and improved on one vital stat this season. “I think everyone knows what kind of player they are getting when they sign me. I am a hard worker and always try to make my teammates better. The only difference I can say is that I had even fewer turnovers this year”, stressed Chris Carter. Of course he is known as being a versatile offensive player, but especially under the defensive Guru Bauermann, he was able to take new steps as a defender. “I thought my defense did get better this year. I was usually given the other team´s best player on a nightly basis. I think coach Bauermann had a lot to do with that”, expressed Chris Carter. This summer he will be focusing most on shooting, 1 on 1 moves, and speed/agility in the lab as he continues to seek new strides as a player. He turned 29 today and still has massive goals as a player as his basketball journey is no more than over yet. “The next step for me is playing at the highest level as I can and having a long career and having fun. Of course the BBL is my goal for sure and I will do my best to get another shot at it. I just want the best situation for me and my family”, warned Chris Carter. It will be interesting to observe where his basketball journey goes next. Sometimes the basketball world can be so cruel as Carter´s opponent Chase Adams saw in Trier. Carter and Adams battled for two years in the Pro A and know each other´s games well. Adams was let go as his leadership qualities were questioned. Leadership is something that Carter knows very much about and isn´t in any way concerned that Adams will have problems finding a new basketball home. “He is a great player but he should not worry because he will get another job for sure. He can play”, warned Chris Carter. The basketball community is small in Germany and not only in these hard pandemic times and even when the world was still hunky dory, American players stick up for each other. It isn´t any different with Carter as his stellar play and special character has always helped him find a new job. It won´t be any different this summer for him. Who knows we might even see Chris Carter back in the easyCredit BBL with the Rostock SeaWolves. In these so crazy times, anything is possible.  

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