Former Florida Tech Basketball Star Continues Success Overseas
By Florida Tech // December 22, 2015
BREVAED COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – The game Chris Carter has grown to love has taken him far from home, yet the former Florida Tech guard has not missed a beat since beginning his professional career overseas.
Playing for Bipa Basket Odessa in the Ukraine’s SL Favorit Sport, one of the nation’s most prolific leagues, the 23-year old’s transition has been anything but an adjustment period. Midway through the season, Carter is filling up the stat sheet averaging 14.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.2 assists and a league-best 2.8 steals per game.
“It’s still kind of hard to swallow that I’m a professional basketball player,” he said. “It’s good to see my hard work paying off and hopefully I can motivate people after me that anything is possible. I just want to make the most out of this experience and maximize my basketball potential to the fullest.”
While the on-court success has been visible, the path to the pros wasn’t necessarily the smoothest for the Port St. Lucie, Florida native. Carter narrowly missed out on a number of opportunities, particularly in Poland, often having his potential roster spot taken by more well-known veteran players.
Despite the ups-and-downs, though, Carter remained focused and upbeat, knowing his chance would eventually come.
“Chris was constantly working on his game,” said Florida Tech head coach Billy Mims.
“He was in our gym all summer long. He believed all summer that the opportunity would come and I like to think that good things happen to good people, that’s certainly Chris Carter. I think the world of Chris, he’s an outstanding player and even better person.”
Since joining the club, the former All-Sunshine State Conference performer has helped turnaround Bipa Basket Odessa by leading the team to wins in eight of its last 11 contests after beginning the year 0-4, collecting multiple Eurobasket Player of the Week honors in the process.
“We’ve had to mesh together fast,” Carter said about the team. “I wish I was here for preseason, but my teammates have been very nice and have welcomed me with open arms.”
In addition, Carter has posted a pair of 25 point, 5 rebound and 5 assist efforts as Bipa has climbed back into the thick of the league standings at fourth overall with nine games to play.
“Chris is a matchup problem no matter which position you put him at,” said Mims. “I think his work ethic, his physical nature and his versatility are what make him special.”
Only time will tell where Carter’s stint in the Ukraine will ultimately lead, and even though the process is early, if first impressions go as far as many say they do, don’t be surprised if it’s just the first stop on a journey to success.
“I think he’s got his foot in the door now in European professional basketball, and that’s huge,” Mims said. “Wherever Chris goes he will give 110 percent to be the best Chris Carter can be.”