By Kevin Wilson
Some things never seemed to change for Chris Carter, like his height and his desire to play college basketball.
“In eighth grade, I was this tall. In sixth grade, I was this tall. I was head and shoulders above everybody else, and people started telling me, ‘You can, you can.’”
It appears that Carter can and will play college basketball, and he will do so at Eastern New Mexico University. Carter, who is graduating from Portales High School on Friday, recently signed a letter of intent with the Greyhounds.
Carter, a four-year varsity member and three-year starter for the Rams, said he actually got more looks for football, but that he loved basketball and only liked football.
Carter spent most summers playing Amateur Athletics Association (AAU) basketball, and helped the Rams finish second in Class 3A this year.
“He’s always had a work ethic, a love for the game,” Ram coach Mark Gallegos said. “His potential’s still untapped because he has the ability to put weight on his frame.”
Carter and Gallegos said his biggest challenge in making the transition to college will be on defense. Greyhound coach Shawn Scanlan said Carter would have to adjust on defense because at six feet, he may be undersized against many guards in the Lone Star Conference.
As far as Carter’s other areas, Scanlan feels that the Hounds have a good base to start with.
“I think the biggest thing that Chris does is he plays in a program (at Portales) where he’s been taught fundamentals straight through,” Scanlan said. “He has some natural attributes, such as pretty good quickness, and he can shoot with range. Anytime you have somebody with good range, that’s a good start.”
Carter had also looked at Eastern Arizona College, Cochise Junior College, New Mexico Military Institute and Sul Ross State.
“I wanted to stay here,” Carter said, “and I like the way Coach Scanlan coaches and all the players are good guys.
“I think with me staying here, it would be the biggest challenge. I don’t know why, but I just saw it that way.”
Gallegos, an alumni of ENMU, felt that Carter had made a good choice.
“I think it’s a really good place,” Gallegos said. “I have a lot of respect for what Shawn does. Academically, I think they’re going to stay on him to do well in the classroom.”