Carter commits to USM

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 20, 1999

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / March 20, 1999

RESERVE – East St. John’s Clement Carter, one of the top prospects in thestate, is taking his game to the next level next season after verbally committing to Southern Mississippi last week.

Carter, who played point guard for the Wildcats, chose the Eagles over Tennessee State, Navy and a number of schools from the Southland Conference, Conference USA and the Western Athletic Conference, saying he liked the coaching staff at USM.

“From the head coach to the assistants,” Carter said. “They liked my gameand they liked my size.”Another reason Carter chose Southern Mississippi was the chance to play in a major conference.

“I feel the best way to get better is to play the best competition,” Carter said.

Carter said he is still planning to make his official visit to Southern Mississippi but wanted to commit early to get the pressure off him to make a decision. Official signing day is in early April.Carter averaged over 21 points in district play his senior year for the Wildcats. One of his best efforts of the season came against eventualClass 4A state champion Woodlawn, a game in which he scored 30 points.

East St. John coach James Smith feels USM is a good fit for Carter. Headvised Carter to think about his future after basketball and the closeness of his home while choosing a college.

“He is a model student and player,” Smith said of his team captain for the past two seasons. “He is a good kid. Every year he has been here he hasimproved and he is still peaking. I feel he is right on schedule.”Carter said he plans to major in either business or computer science. Hesaid in time he believes he will get a lot of playing time.

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