Thursday, August 2, 2012

Wil Carter signs with a team in Holland

First, it was smallish town Pocatello. Then off to larger Salt Lake City, followed by a two-year stay in Portuguese-speaking Brazil on a mission and a return to the Crossroads of the West. Next came a couple of years in Silicon Valley, San Jose specifically.

Wil Carter is a road veteran, ready and able to pack a suitcase when called upon.

Now he's on the move again as Carter is going to be challenging some of the best in the play-for-pay overseas basketball game, having signed with Eiffel Towers, a team in Den Bosch, Holland, located 80 kilometers south of Amsterdam. 

Coming off a San Jose State University season where he averaged a double-double -- 15.8 points and 10.3 rebounds --  the 6-foot-8 Carter impressed a number of opposing coaches and fans with his skills set. That effect obviously carried over to Adam and Ben Pensack of the Pensack Sports Management Group and ultimately representatives of  the team in Holland.

So how did this come about for Carter?

Self-effacingly, Carter said, "I was fortunate to have a good season."

It all began when his play caught the attention of the San Francisco-based Pensack's.

Explaining the interest in Carter, Adam Pensack said, "we first saw him at San Jose State as a junior. We then saw him in the San Francisco pro-am and couldn't believe how much better he was in that setting than at San Jose State. This isn't to say Wil wasn't good at San Jose State, as he obviously was very good there. In the pro-am, though, Wil was knocking down 18-foot jumpers consistently and really getting out on the break and finishing with authority. At that time, Ben and I thought Wil was probably one of the most underrated players in the country for a variety of reasons (smallish D1 school, losing record, playing center instead of power forward, etc.) and we knew that his upside was immense. We think the next few years are going to be extremely exciting for Wil on the court as he builds his professional career."

"We had lunch in San Jose and it felt right," Carter explained. "Later, I talked with one of my good friends, Spencer Nelson, and he spoke highly of the Pensacks." Nelson, out of Pocatello High and Utah State, has long been a Pensack client and is playing with one of the very top teams in Europe, Spain's Gran Canaria.

Carter credits the Pensacks for paving the way to Europe -- "They made the process real simple."

There is housing and a car awaiting Carter's arrival  He departs on August 20 and the season concludes in May and his wife, Kim, will be accompanying him. What will also be beneficial is the team has "an assistant coach who is American and I've talked with the head coach and he speaks perfect English."

So what did Carter do since his college season concluded?

"I just kept up my routine, working out and lifting," he offered. "I'm very self-driven and pride myself on that."

But playing professionally was not something Carter thought would really happen.

"As a kid, I was telling everyone I was going pro but I really had no idea," he said. "Guys from Pocatello, that's not something we're generally aspiring to."

That changed as he got older.

"People started telling me I had the body and skills to do so. [San Jose State University] Coach [George] Nessman sat me down and explained what I needed to do. He pushed me real hard to develop in the right ways."

One element of Carter's game most don't know about is his outside-shooting ability. The lack-of-height makeup of the Spartans required that he play exclusively inside but in Europe he'll have the opportunity to demonstrate his full skills set.

Here's Adam Pensack on that aspect: "he will be asked to play a slightly different role than he did in college. The team wants him to play minutes at the 4 and 5 positions and they welcome his ability to knock down perimeter jumpshots. In Europe, big guys are often looked upon to stretch the floor and draw post defenders away from the basket and Wil absolutely has the ability to do that. Combine that with his athleticism, work ethic, and willingness to learn and the sky is the limit for Wil."

There is also one other lure for Carter. Fries with mayonnaise is particular delicacy, a so-called national snack throughout Holland. Carter wasn't aware of this but as he put it, "I love mayonnaise." Potatoes too -- hey, he's from Idaho.

1 comment:

Fafner said...

That's the same team that Tai Wesley played for this past season.