Keith Carter Heads to Goodwill Games Training Camp

OXFORD, Miss. -- Keith Carter, a senior guard on the Ole Miss men's basketball team, will travel to Minneapolis, Minn., July 6-12 for the Goodwill Games training camp. The camp, which will be a tune-up for the Goodwill Games, will also serve as a second round of trials for the team's final cut. Carter is one of 17 finalists who will participate in the training camp for the 1998 USA Basketball Men's National Team, which is coached by University of Minnesota head coach Clem Haskins. The 17 finalists will compete for 12 spots on the Goodwill Games team. The first round of trials were held May 29-31, with the 17 finalists announced on June 1.

"I'm looking forward to going (to training camp)," said Carter. "I think that I'm in real good shape. I've worked really hard during the last month since the first trials to keep in shape. I've also worked on my jumper to get it where it needs to be.

"When I went to the trials in May, I didn't shoot the ball as well as I wanted to, so I came back and worked on my shot. Coach Haskins has said in several interviews that he wants some shooters. I want to go to training camp and shoot the ball really well. I feel really good about my chances. Hopefully, I can go up there and make a good impression and make the team."

The Perryville, Ark., native was named to the Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference second team following his junior campaign in 1997-98. He was second on the squad in scoring with a 14.8 average and was third in rebounding with a 6.2 average. Carter scored the 1,000th point of his career in the Rebels' win over Vanderbilt on Feb. 11, and finished the season with 1,140 points which places him in the No. 17 spot on the Rebel career scoring chart.

The 6-foot-4 guard finished the 1997-98 season ranked among the SEC leaders in four statistical categories. Carter was seventh in scoring (14.8 ppg), 13th in rebounding (6.2 rpg), eighth in three-point field goal percentage (37.2 percent) and seventh in free throw percentage (76.6 percent). Carter's 6.2 rebounding average was tops among guards in the conference.

"This young man opened up the eyes of everyone at the trials with his athletic ability," said Haskins when announcing the 17 finalists on June 1. "He's a tough guy, and he can rebound the ball. He's one of those 6-4 guys who, when they step on the court, become about 6-8 or 6-9. He is a tremendous shooter and an excellent rebounder. Keith is a fine basketball player."

Carter is one of four SEC players among the 17 finalists heading to Minneapolis. Georgia's Jumaine Jones, Kentucky's Scott Padgett and South Carolina's BJ McKie were also selected as finalists for the Goodwill Games Team.

The USA Goodwill Games Team will be USA Basketball's top men's collegiate squad this year. The 1998 Goodwill Games will be held July 19-24 at Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y., and the USA Team will open play on July 19 against Puerto Rico. Prior to games in New York, the Goodwill Games squad will play the 1998 USA Basketball Men's World Championship Team, comprised of players from the CBA and American players from eoverseas, in an exhibition game on July 14 in Chicago.

The 17 finalists are: Penn State's Calvin Booth, Duke's Elton Brand, Ole Miss' Keith Carter, Connecticut's Khalid El-Amin, Georgia Tech's Dion Glover, Indiana's A.J. Guyton, Oklahoma's Ryan Humphrey, Georgia's Jumaine Jones, Massachusetts' Lari Ketner, Minnesota's Quincy Lewis, UNLV's Shawn Marion, South Carolina's BJ McKie, Utah's Andre Miller, Kentucky's Scott Padgett, Xavier's James Posey, Tulsa's Michael Ruffin and Miami's (Ohio) Wally Szczerbiak.

This is the second straight year that a member of the Rebel basketball program has been involved with USA Basketball team trials. Last summer, All-America Ansu Sesay was a member of the USA Basketball World University Games Team that played in Italy. Sesay averaged 7.5 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists in helping lead the USA squad to the gold medal.

 

 

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