Whenever a group of Philly guys get together on the court, you know they are going bring that one thing that opponents are not prepared for:
This is the edge that former Saint Joseph’s standout Tasheed Carr described as the factor by which Team Philly will be able to come out of Hagan Arena with a win against the team from D.C. in The-BALL Showcase being played at 8 p.m. Sunday.
“Basketball in Philly means a lot to me and it’s something that goes unmatched around the world,” Carr said of the city’s competitive hoops tradition. “We’re just going to go out there and have some fun in front of friends and family, but most importantly end the game with a ‘W.’”
The Philadelphia product is more than confident that his team will outplay the cast representing the nation’s capital, and he was more than thrilled about being asked to participate in the contest.
“I’m elated about the chance to play with a lot of guys that I grew up with playing with or against during my time in both high school and college,” he said. “I’m really glad that (The-BALL CEO) Michael Wranovics sought me out.”
Since leaving St. Joe’s in 2009, Carr has had professional stints in Germany, China, Israel and the United States, spending last season playing for Rochester in the PBL. He had been doing his regular summer workouts before being asked to play in The-BALL event.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for us (Team Philly) to come out and represent and show the true tenaciousness of Philadelphia basketball,” he said.
Growing up in the West Philadelphia, Carr attended University City High School for two years before transferring to Mount Zion Academy, a top-tier hoops prep school in North Carolina. The school boasts pro hoops alumni such as Tracy McGrady and Amar’e Stoudemire.
“It was a great chance for me to get away and play against better competition than what the (Philadelphia) Public League had to offer at the time,” Carr said.
Carr’s move to finish his scholastic tenure down south paid off in major way as he garnered a number of high Division I scholarships, including the likes of Temple, Arkansas and Virginia Tech. Amongst that list was also Iowa State, the program that he spent two years at before transferring back home to the city of his roots.
The silky smooth two-guard was a contributor at ISU, averaging 5.8 points and 2.2 rebounds per contest as a freshman for the Cyclones. It seemed bizarre that the 6-foot-5 stud would want to part ways from a school that he was next in line to command, but after the firing of head coach Larry Eustachy Carr decided that he needed to find a fresh start.
“I had a good relationship with the coach there (Iowa State) but after he left I felt that the best thing for me to do was to return home and be close to my family,” Carr said.
After talking with head coach Phil Martelli at St. Joe’s, a school that was after him out of high school, Carr did exactly that by transferring to the A-10 program.
“It was a no-brainer for me to come home and play for Coach Martelli,” he said. “If I hadn’t decided to go to ISU in the first place, it would have no doubt been my first choice to play for St. Joe’s.”
Bringing to the program Big 12 experience, Carr made an instant impact. Being named team co-captain during his junior year he averaged 10.8 points and helped the Hawks reach the NCAA tournament. He was second in scoring as a senior, averaging 14.3 points.
Carr recounts some of his best basketball moments playing in the Big 5 at the Palestra.
“There was nothing like those games.” Carr said. “Playing in one of the most historical arenas in the world, these games were always the most competitive to play in.”
On Sunday, Carr will join a cast of players that he competed against during his time at Hawk Hill and he takes it as a great honor.
“I’m glad that I was able to make my stamp in this Philly hoops tradition,” he said, “and it’s a great feeling to be able to come back here (Philadelphia) and play with these guys that I used go against for so many years.”
-the-BALL info: Sunday’s The-BALL showcase game is scheduled to tip off at 8 p.m. Click HERE for tickets. … College students who show a valid ID and wear team colors will be admitted for free. … The-BALL is soliciting a team name for the Philadelphia contingent, with the winner receiving courtside seats for 10 people to Sunday’s game. Tweet your suggestions to @TheBALLHoops.
Related story: The-BALL CEO Michael Wranovics talks to Philahoops about the league’s concept.
-Cab Washington covers La Salle for Philahoops. Reach him at Colin@philahoops.com.
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