Wendell Carter of Pace Academy is the No. 1 senior men’s basketball recruit in Georgia and No. 5 player nationally, according to 247Sports. The 6-foot-10 power forward has scored 1,705 points and has 1,235 rebounds, 508 assists, 504 blocked shots and 254 steals in his three seasons at Pace, which Carter led to its first-ever boys state title last season. Carter has signed with Duke.
Here are five quick questions with Carter as he and Pace get ready for the state tournament, which begins this weekend. Pace opens with a home game Saturday at 4 p.m. against Dawson County.
How do you see the state tournament playing out in Class AAA, and who will be Pace’s toughest competition?
‘’I see the state tournament playing out with Pace Academy on top of course. To be honest, I don't know who will be our toughest competition, but I know that we will be ready.’’ [Pace is 22-8 and ranked No. 2. Its only Georgia losses are to Class AAAAAAA Norcross and region rival Cedar Grove, which Pace has defeated twice. Westside-Macon (23-3), seeking its first-ever state title, is ranked No. 1 and is led by 6-8 forward Khavon Moore, the No. 1 Georgia player in the class of 2018.]
What has been your biggest basketball honor to this point, and why?
‘’My biggest basketball honor to this point is winning the USA gold medal both in U16 and U17. There is nothing like being able to fight for your country playing the game that you love.’’ [Carter was a member of the 2015 USA team that won the FIBA Americas U16 championship in Argentina and the 2016 team that won the U17 championship in Spain.]
What were your experiences like on Team USA? What did you get out of that?
‘’My experiences with my USA basketball were a lot of fun. I was able to travel the world and be coached by some of the best coaches ever. I made a lot of new friends while there also.’’
What is Coach K like? Any funny or memorable stories involving him?
‘’Coach K is a very funny and cool person, but when it comes to playing basketball, he gets in that ‘killer’ mode. I have no memories yet with him.’'
What do you see yourself doing in 10 years? What do you hope to accomplish between now and then?
‘’In 10 years, I hope to be in the NBA winning an NBA championship.’’