ESJ’s Carter is All-State

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, March 26, 2013



RESERVE – When it came time to vote for the MVP of District 8-5A, it didn’t matter that East St. John’s Elex Carter averaged less than eight points per game; the district’s coaches all knew first hand how he impacts a game, and voted him the league’s MVP.

People noticed statewide as well.

Carter was honored this week as the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Class 5A All-State team was announced, earning a spot on its first team.

The 6-foot-7 senior center averaged 7.8 points, 12.2 rebounds, 5.3 blocks and 2.7 steals per game, wreaking havoc in the lane game by game and providing the backbone to East St. John’s run to the state quarterfinals – the deepest playoff run in the boys basketball program’s history. ESJ finished 24-8 and was ranked in the Class 5A top 10 throughout the regular season.

“I think for Elex, it’s a great reward and shows that you can embrace who you are as a player and get rewarded,” said East St. John coach Yussef Jasmine. “Everyone now-a-days wants to go out and be LeBron (James) or Kobe (Bryant). Typically when you look at an All-State roster, you see the big scoring numbers.

“But Elex can play with anybody defensively in the state. To me, he was the best defensive player in the state. And by playing that role for us and excelling like he did, he made All-State.”

East St. John’s Tre’Von Jasmine earned honorable mention status. St. James Jared Wiggins was named honorable mention for the Class 3A squad.

Carter is still undecided as to where he’ll play college ball – he’s received attention locally from UNO, Southeastern and Northwestern St, as well as from Oral Roberts.

But another potential landing spot is Virginia Commonwealth, a rapidly rising program which made a Final Four run in 2011 and has become a perennial NCAA tournament factor under head coach Shaka Smart – Carter’s ability to rack up blocks and steals would play well in Smart’s full-court pressing system and has Carter on their radar.

“Since I’ve been here, he’s the first player I’ve had that a Division I school like VCU has recruited,” said Jasmine. “Wherever he goes, as a coach and mentor I want to see him go to a great fit, somewhere he can keep improving as a player.”

The Wildcats changed their defensive scheme this year from man to primarily zone, with Carter stationed in the middle.

“As one coach said, you have to shoot the ball well (from the outside) against us, because he puts a lid on the rim.

“A lot of times, teams couldn’t get two-point baskets against us,” said Jasmine. “Elex completely controls the middle.”

Jasmine said he felt that the All-State recognition garnered by Carter as well as Tre’Von Jasmine reflects well on an ascending program.

“I thought this year was special, after losing 10 players, we went even further than last year. Now we’ve got people making All-State.

“People around the state look us producing those types of players and maybe say, ‘Hey, watch out for East St. John.’”