Wednesday, July 28, 1999
to NBA camp
The former Hawaii guard isBy Pat Bigold
playing for Dallas in the summer
league and has a chance
to make its team
Former University of Hawaii point guard Anthony "AC" Carter is being invited to Dallas Mavericks training camp in October, according to head coach Don Nelson.
"I can't say he'll make the team, but we care enough about him to invite him to our training camp and give him a chance," said Nelson yesterday by phone from Salt Lake City, Utah. "I've always liked him."
Carter has been playing for the Mavericks' summer team in the FILA Summer Pro League (Long Beach, Calif.) and the Rocky Mountain Revue (Salt Lake City, Utah), averaging double digits in scoring and picking up a few double-doubles along the way.
The Mavs are currently top-heavy with guards, but that doesn't discourage Carter.
"I think they have three or four guards under contract, but as long as I keep playing hard and have good showings, I think they'll find some place for me," said Carter.
Nelson, who plans to keep 15 players, said that after being fired as the New York Knicks head coach, he watched Carter play several games during the Rainbows' 1996-97 season.
"He was a pretty good player in college and his numbers were right up there with any point guard in the country," he said. "He's probably a 2-1 who needs a lot of work on his ballhandling. But I think his year in the CBA served him well. He's more confident and we like his overall game."
Most importantly, Nelson said, Carter is playing injury-free.
"He got his shoulder fixed and I know that was bothering him for a while," Nelson said.
Carter had surgery in June 1998 to correct a nagging injury to his left shoulder that dated back to before the 1997-98 season.
"It was stopping me from being really aggressive," he said. "I was taking it to the hole and thinking about my shoulder, worrying that I might get knocked down on it again. Now I just take it to the hole strong, dish it off, or finish. It was kind of scary when I couldn't really pass the ball or shoot a left-handed layup."
Carter said he has played mostly at shooting guard this summer but occasionally goes back to the point.
"It doesn't really matter to me," he said.
In one of his best offensive performances, Carter scored 29 points, dished out 10 assists and had no turnovers in a 107-105 victory over the Grizzlies on July 15 in the FILA Summer Pro League.
"I'm having my fun at the 2 (shooting guard spot) and trying to show I can score," said Carter.
Carter is being coached by Nelson's 35-year-old son, Donnie, who is an assistant coach to his father with the Mavs.
"He's a great coach," said Carter.
"As long as you do what he asks and play hard, run the sets he asks you to run, he's a great guy. I love playing for him."
Hawaii head coach Riley Wallace, who stopped in Long Beach to watch Carter play recently, said he believes the Miami Heat also have an interest in him.
Carter's first pro job was in the Continental Basketball Association, where he played for Yakima (Wa.). He averaged 16 points.
At Hawaii, he was Western Athletic Conference Pacific Division Player of the Year for the 1996-97 season and an honorable mention All-American.
Playing his senior year with the shoulder injury, he earned second-team All-WAC honors while averaging a school record 6.9 assists per game. His 18.4 points per game average was second only to former NBA star Tom Henderson (1972-73) on the Rainbows' all-time list.