A few NBA stars have shone in other sports before investing heavily in basketball. Many come from American football like Allen Iverson, who then kept this “hard to bad” aspect with a ball in hand. We can also think of baseball with Michael Jordan, who returned to it during his first retirement, in 1993-1994.
For Vince Carter, it was volleyball. Guest of the VC Show, Doc Rivers addressed the subject through an anecdote to explain the beginnings of his friendly relationship with Vince Carter, whom he never had under orders.
“When you don’t coach a player or you haven’t played with him, you don’t really have the chance to really get to know him. But one day I went to see my daughter play volleyball. I’m sitting in the gym at DeLand, looking around, and seeing these banners. The high school men’s volleyball championship titles, year after year after year. And I’m like, ‘I didn’t even know there was a men’s volleyball program in Florida.he says. “And there was this old black gentleman sitting next to me. I asked him: ‘What is it about?’. He answered me: ‘You don’t know, my brother?’. And I said, ‘No’. And he said, ‘It’s Vince Carter. Vince Carter was Florida’s best volleyball player.
A test transformed hands down
The adventure was indeed crowned with success and lasted four years, during the last years at Vince Carter’s Mainland high school, before joining North Carolina in 1995. And according to him, this volleyball break allowed him to become a better basketball player, with more jumps, for the result that we know.
Vince Carter therefore raised the subject in turn, returning to the genesis of this beautiful story.
“One day I walked into my gymnasium in high school, as a basketball player of course. It’s like that, when you hear a ball bouncing, you’ll see what’s going on. And it was a trial session for the volleyball team that was just starting. I was asked if I wanted to try. I said, ‘Of course, we’ll see. And I ended up joining the team, playing there for four years. I was also voted player of the year during my Junior year. he confided. “Volleyball helped me. Everyone says to me, ‘You’re jumping. How did that come to you?’. It’s thanks to volleyball.
Unfortunately, there are no video clips from this time. On the web, there is only one photo and some stats confirming his dominance in his other favorite sport.
Vince Carter has obviously invested more than one could imagine and continues to appreciate this other sport in which he could have shined if he had continued to practice it at the highest level thereafter.
“I was playing on the left side and then I learned to be a better passer. I spent time there to become a very good player, to learn how to hit the ball from all parts of the field. I had fun. I’m still watching it and my daughter is in it now too, so it’s come full circle”he concluded.