Aquille Carr: High School Basketball's Greatest Show on Hardwood

Eric HampfordContributor IIISeptember 23, 2011

Aquille Carr is the Pride of Baltimore
Aquille Carr is the Pride of Baltimore

He stands 5’7 and weighs a whopping 145 pounds. His body type seems more high school nerd than basketball legend. When you think of the “cream of the crop” of high school basketball stars from around the country, most people think of adjectives like tall, powerful, athletic, and lanky. While Aquille Carr is athletic, very athletic, he does not fit the criteria of most basketball stars in today’s age. However, what he lacks in height, Carr makes up for in blinding quickness, ridiculous ball handling skills, and unparalleled charisma and confidence.

Baltimore, Maryland is a crime ridden city with an unquenchable thirst for basketball. What the city lacks in a professional basketball team, its residents make up for in their allegiance to its high school players. Over the past ten years, the city has seen Carmelo Anthony, Rudy Gay, Donte Greene, Joey Dorsey, and Dajuan Summers all leave the city to cash NBA paychecks. Every year, the search is on for the next star to shine for Baltimore. That star was found at Patterson High School in East Baltimore last year...when Aquille Carr was a rising freshman. He took the city and its high school teams by storm, and in the process averaged 25.5 points per game. The whirling dervish also landed on the prestigious Baltimore All-Metro first team.

This year, as a sophomore, the hype machine was in full force for the diminutive point guard. However, much like he does to the defenses who dare try and guard him, he shredded through it. With averages of 32 points, six assists, five rebounds, and 117 steals, Carr led Patterson High to the Baltimore City and Class 4A North region titles, along with a trip to the state championship game. After the season ended, he was named the Baltimore Sun's Boy’s Basketball Player of the Year.

In the city of Baltimore, though just a 17 year old sophomore, he has racked up nicknames and accolades faster than any first-step the city has ever seen. Carr’s best nickname? The Crime Stopper. He was labeled this because so many people try to see his games, crime seemingly comes to a halt in the city on game nights. This is one of the many things that has already made Aquille Carr a legend in his city. Patterson High School home games even had to be moved from their home gym to Morgan State University’s college gymnasium to accommodate the droves of residents trying to see the legend.

With such accolades and accomplishments coming from a high school player, you would think that by this past spring, everyone would have been a believer in the muscular guard. However, that was not the case.Coming into the summer, some of the most respected national recruiting company's and analysts had Aquille barely ranked in their national top 100 lists, or not ranked at all. That seemed to change after his coming out party at the 2011 Boost Mobile Elite 24 game in August. Playing against and alongside 23 of the best players in America, the dynamo stood out big-time, posting 21 points, 10 assists, and seven rebounds in the game. Since the game, his stock has soared. He is now regarded as a bona fide top 50 national prospect. Dime Magazine recently decided to mint him their cover boy for their latest issue, an honor bestowed upon only the most worthy of high school hoopsters. In the magazine's history, only Dwight Howard, O.J. Mayo, Tyreke Evans, and Lance Stephenson have graced the cover, each of which were stars of their high schools classes before taking their skills to the NBA.

In his junior and senior year seasons that follow, you can bet that the hype will not stop for Aquille Carr. Odds are, he will rack up more national accolades and accomplishments along the way, keeping defenders on skates with ankle breaking crossovers, getting into the lane at will, and dropping feathery jumpers on helpless players. Whether you think he can dominate at the college level, or attain Baltimore glory by becoming the next shooting star in a constellation of athletes from the city, or whether you believe his height will hinder him like many other ball players before him, one thing is for sure: Aquille Carr is unlike any other player in high school basketball right now, so enjoy the show while you can.