BY ANDREAS BUTLER
NBA player Vince Carter held his annual youth basketball academy this week at an athletic center bearing his name at Mainland High School in Daytona Beach.
Carter resides in Orlando but grew up in Daytona where he starred at Mainland and led the basketball team to a state championship in 1995. After high school, Carter starred at the University of North Carolina.
The Vince Carter Youth Basketball Academy has been going on since 1998 when Carter was drafted by the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the NBA draft.
“It’s always fun and exciting to do this camp. It’s always great to see these kids come and participate,” said Carter.
Family joins in for annual event
One hundred and twenty-five youngsters from all over the country and a group of 13 girls from Brazil attended the camp while coaches from across the nation helped conduct it.
The camp also is a family affair for Carter with his younger brother Chris Carter and stepbrother Jeff Scott assisting while his daughter participated.
“My daughter has always been here, but this was her first year taking part of it. My brothers, friends and former teammates help out and enjoy it. My brothers have helped me in the past. I do this because I enjoy it and it’s the same for my brothers,” Carter explained.
Carter, 35, an eight-time All-Star has averaged 21.4 points per game and scored 20,000 points in 14 seasons with the Toronto Raptors, New Jersey Nets, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks.
No plans to resign anytime soon
Last season, Carter averaged 10.1 points for the Mavericks; a 66-game lockout shortened season.
“The lockout was difficult because we didn’t know when the season was going to start.
Playing in Dallas was great. They were coming off a championship. I came in the league with Dirk Nowitzki; Jason Kidd was my teammate in New Jersey and I’ve known Jason Terry for a while so it made my transition easy,” commented Carter.
Dallas exercised the option on Carter’s contract for the 2012-13. Carter has no plans to stop playing.
“My goal was to play 15 years and anything after that is icing on the cake. I think that I have some years left. I have been working my butt off to be prepared every year. I think that has helped me have a great career. I will keep going until my body says otherwise,’’ Carter noted.
Ready for whatever season brings
The Mavericks will have a different makeup this season after losing Kidd to the New York Knicks and Terry to the Boston Celtics this summer.
“We’ll see what happens. I’m sure that our organization isn’t done making moves in free agency. I’m sure they will get into the Dwight Howard mix someway. We’ll be ready with whatever team we have headed into camp,” stated Carter.
As for his former Magic teammate Howard wanting to be traded to Brooklyn (formerly New Jersey) Carter said, “That’s just how the league goes sometimes. Guys like Paul Pierce have stayed with Boston and Dirk Nowitzki with Dallas. Other guys play with many teams. The thing now is everyone wants to win. It just happens that way.”
Carter still hopes to win a championship.
“That is why we play to win a title. I’ve played multiple years. I hope to be on a team to have that opportunity. I’ve come close but just haven’t won one yet,” he added.