Ben Carter | My experience in one of the top prospect combines (AAU) in the world
Forward by Janx
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Have all participated in the famous Adidas Nations tournament. This is our chance to find out about Ben's experience.
Ben Carter with LivOn founder, former NBA player and current Assistant Coach at LSU, Randy Livingston
Ben Carter is a 2018 featured athlete, Sturt Sabres and SA Metro Junior, that recently competed in the Adidas Uprising tournament and then was selected to take part in the very prestigious Adidas Nations Tournament a week after. Knowing Ben and his capabilities it is no surprise he was selected to take part in Adidas Nations, and has recently taken part in National Selection Camps for our U19 National team. I've been lucky to coach Ben at the National Intensive Training Program (2013-15), U18 State level (2015/16), Assistant at U16 State level (2013/14) and at the Sturt Sabres in U18 Div 1 team in 2014/15. Subsequent to that he has allowed me to assist him through the www.highperformancehoopsnetwork.com platform and it is a privilege to continue to work Ben and his family. He is a formidable big man with a unique mix of power, versatile skills, size and IQ that I have never seen in an SA Junior player.
During Adidas Nations, he played for Randy Livingston’s Team LivOn. At Nations he was playing with against many ranked US prospects which is a great opportunity to see where is at, as one of the youngest players to take part.
This was a great opportunity for Ben who 3 games into the recent U18 National Championships went down with an ankle sprain. As one of the top big men, in the age group, in the country, this injury was devastating for Ben and the team alike, so for him to have this event to rehab towards was outstanding. During his rehab he was lucky enough to workout with former NBA player and Adelaide 36er Kevin Brooks on a daily basis.
Noted by College Scouts watching on for his great hands, good skillset for his imposing frame and a great passer. Now he is back he is ready to take what he was learned and apply an even more determined mindset to ascend as one of the top big men in the country.
Ben getting up in an U18 State trial game.
Over to Ben (questions by Janx):
Tell us about your rehab after U18 Nationals: The rehab after nationals was long and hard as during this recovery period I had to miss out on numerous games, training's, and even tournaments. As my ankle injury had taken me out for around 8 weeks, the recovery was purely based on me regaining the trust of being able to apply pressure and change direction with my ankle. Towards the end of the recovery period when I was able to join the on court work it was often a struggle to go out to the sessions as I was still unable to do any competitive work, but remained in a positive frame of mind as I was able to do running and shooting with the team. The recovery basically did not end until I left for the LivOn tour,as I had to stay off my ankle for the first weeks and my fitness was not at the standard that it was for U18 Nationals. I was lucky enough to have some very solid individuals with Kevin Brooks from the Adelaide 36er’s who really helped me regain the lost fitness.
How many games did you play? While over for the LivOn Adidas tour, the first week at Adidas Uprising in Vegas consisted of 5 games and in the second week in Long Beach playing at Adidas Nations there were 5 games.
What were the main differences in game style, players compared to National Championships?
The main difference in game style would have to be the athleticism of every player from the opposition team. In the National Championships there may be 1 or 2 players on a team that can jump out of the gym, while playing over for the LivOn tour, almost every player has that athletic ability.
What was it like to work with former NBA player, and new LSU Assistant Coach, Randy Livingston? It was a great experience as Randy really goes out of his way to make sure that everything is perfect and if anything is wrong he was trying his hardest to make sure it was taken care of. Randy really makes sure that everyone is giving it their best on and off the court.
Anything specific you learned from Randy? Many things were learnt over the two week stretch that was spent with Randy. I think that the thing that has stuck with me the most is just to get better every time that you enter the gym and court. I remember this, as we trained every day for Adidas Nations, and we were able to train under the coaches from all different NBA teams and just knowing that even if I play 1 or 30+ minutes in the game, I know that I left it all out on the court in that training.
Are you aware of specific schools that were watching your games? No I wasn’t aware of any specific schools actually. For each game there was multiple coaches that changed from game to game, and as the games were so fast paced, and the schedule was pretty heavy there wasn’t really any time to take the time to look and see who was watching.
What were the guys like in your team, any guys have a chance to make the NBA in your opinion? All the guys are people who you would love to play one or multiple years together. They all love the game as much as the other and they love to compete hard and have fun, but most importantly win. Many of them have the attributes to make it in the NBA, they all work as hard as I've seen, which brought out the best in every session. I wouldn’t be surprised to see any of the names in the NBA in the future.
How did you feel you measured up against the best guys, do you recall who they were? I feel like I held my own and did what I like to do, I like to play physical and I think I did that. While playing, one of the USA teams was made up from a majority of the U17 Team USA team and I feel like I remained competitive and stuck to the same game and just played like they had nothing over me, and let my basketball speak for itself.
How did you go and what do you feel you did well?
I think that I gave it my all, and being one of the youngest on the team I really tried to take it as a learning experience and just get better each game. I think that defending was my stronger part of the game as I just try and bring a physical presence that won’t back down.
Now you’re back what do you plan to work on over the coming 6 months leading into U20 Nationals trials process and hopefully the tournament?
My body shape and fitness is obviously the main things to work on, but with that on the court I am planning to work on more of an outside game so I can consistently score from inside and outside, making me harder to play against.
Tell us about your school side, Sacred Heart College, are the predictions that you guys will win the state tournament fair?
I think that it's a fair statement, I think that we had the team to do that last year, but unfortunately in the finals lost, and from that, it definitely made our team go out and reach that next level and play our best basketball.
Editor's note: Ben's school team, Sacred Heart did infact win the state championship since this article was written. Isaac White is also a featured athlete on this site actually plays school baksetball with Ben - WHAT A DUO!
Where do you see yourself in 4 years time?
I see myself playing basketball, over in America playing college basketball, or playing basketball in Europe.