100 YEARS HEROES: Catching Up With Keith Carter
As part of this season's celebration of the First 100 years of Ole Miss Basketball, OleMissSports.com will be featuring stories and exclusive content throughout the year that look back on some of the great moments, teams and players of the past. The celebration will culminate with the public introduction of the All-Century Team at Saturday's Georgia game.
Sharp-shooting All-American Keith Carter played a big part in Ole Miss' climb to the SEC pinnacle in the late 1990s. Among the most popular all-time Rebels, Carter's hoops career took him around the globe before returning to Oxford, as he discusses in the following Q&A.
Q: What are you doing these days?
A: I am working with Barnes-Pettey Advisors out of Clarksdale, Miss., and just back in Oxford helping out with the radio broadcast and enjoying being back in Oxford.
Q: What made you come back to Oxford?
A: The University just kind of gets in your blood. My wife is from Tunica, which is close to Oxford. We just love Oxford. It’s a great place to raise a family. We have two small children, and Oxford just has great public schools. There’s just not a lot that you don’t like about Oxford, so it was kind of a no-brainer for us.
Q: What are your best memories from playing ball at Ole Miss?
A: Probably my best memories are just the people. Obviously the wins and things stick out, but when you look back on it 10 years later, it’s the people. That’s what made my experience so goodmy teammates, the coaches, all the people involved with the University and around Oxford. That is really what brought us back here. There were wins and things that happened that are obviously great, but the people is what I will always remember.
Q: What was your experience like playing basketball on the professional level?
A: I played nine years professionally with six years in Italy, and I had a great time with that. I was able to make it to age 31 without getting a real job, which is nice. It was great. I was very blessed with the opportunity. I would have loved to make the NBA, but it just didn’t work out. I had a great career overseas, and I’m ready to come back and start the next chapter.
Q: What was it like living in Italy?
A: It was a lot of fun. There were a lot of cultural differences that took us a year or two to figure out, but the last four or five years that we were there, we just kind of blended in. We finally figured out that the Italians were not going to change to our style, and that we needed to change to theirs. It was great. My wife and kids were there with me the whole time. It just allowed us to grow as a family, and the basketball aspect of it was great too. It allowed me to keep playing. It was just a great experience.
Q: Do you enjoy doing the radio broadcasts, and have you done anything like this before?
A: I haven’t done anything like that before. David Kellum and I have been talking about it for two or three years since we go to church together. Finally we got it worked out, and I love it. It’s a lot of fun. It’s great because for me it is the perfect amount of basketball. I go and do the game, and when it is over, I go home to my wife and kids and forget about it. It’s fun, though. I love traveling with the team. Coach Kennedy and the staff have been great, and the kids are great. It’s really been a lot of fun, and hopefully I can keep it going.
Q: How has your experience and education from Ole Miss helped you today?A: It was great. Obviously the Ole Miss education system is great. It has opened a lot of doors, and I met a lot of great people over there who have allowed me to do different things. Actually, I’m just now getting back into that world now since I have been overseas and playing basketball. You don’t run into a lot of Ole Miss people in that aspect. But now getting back into the real world, I am really seeing where the education is coming in handy. People see you graduate from Ole Miss, and they are impressed with that. Ole Miss is a great institution. That is what we come to school for. Basketball is just kind of a side effect of getting a great education from Ole Miss, and I wouldn’t change that for the world.
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