Basketball Star Provides Second Chances
There are role models. And then there’s Anthony Carter.
Former Rainbow Warrior A.C. Carter at center court.
Plenty of talented basketball players join the NBA. Some promote charitable causes. But few complete a $100,000 pledge to fund scholarships just six years out of college. For Carter, standout former University of Hawai'i player, the A. C. Carter Scholarship Fund at UH Manoa is a way to thank those who supported him—"the fans, the coaches, all the people who were behind me who never gave up on me. They got me to where I am right now."
In just two seasons at Manoa, Carter became the Rainbows’ career leader in assist average and one of only 10 players to reach 1,000 points. He ranks in the top 10 of numerous scoring categories in the Hawai'i record book and was part of the team that defeated then second-ranked Kansas during the 1997 Rainbow Classic.
"I never heard the crowd so loud in my life," he recalls. "It was over the roof." His biggest assist yet, the scholarship gift recognized during a February 2004 game in the Stan Sheriff Center, generated a heartfelt standing ovation from the fans.
A. C. still inspires enthusiastic greetings and excited handshakes from Hawai'i fans and affection from the ’Bows coaches, who appreciate his demeanor as much as his talent.
Carter is honored by the athletics department.
Carter was a freshman high school dropout in Atlanta when I Have a Dream helped him earn his high school equivalency and enter junior college. Now he travels the country, encouraging children to stay in school and away from drugs and alcohol. "I want to give to kids who came up the same way I did," he says. "Hopefully I can keep them on the right track or help them get on the right track." His message: Keep their head up and listen to their parents.
Carter presents his $100,000 scholarship to UH Manoa.
Someday he’d like to coach. "I like seeing children grow, seeing the smile on their face when they make a basket when before they couldn’t even shoot the ball, hearing their crazy questions about cars and money and all kinds of stuff." Carter’s two young sons, Joshua, 8, and Devon, 23 months, enjoy playing basketball, but dad keeps things in perspective. "We’re going to let them make their own decisions about basketball. As long as they stay in school and get their education, we’re not going to push the other things."
Some people never get a second chance and some don’t appreciate the one they get. Anthony Carter converted his into second chances for others.