Aquille Carr to play for Princeton Day Academy in Beltsville after leaving Florida school

Former Patterson guard had planned to play for Arlington Country Day, but returned to Maryland soon after

November 06, 2012|By Childs Walker | The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore prep basketball star Aquille Carr is on the move again, this time back to Maryland, where he plans to play his senior season at Princeton Day Academy in Beltsville, said the school’s coach, Van Whitfield.

Just last week, the two-time Baltimore Sun All-Metro Player of the Year enrolled at Arlington Country Day, a private basketball power in Jacksonville, Fla., according to that school’s coach, Rex Morgan.

But Whitfield said Carr merely visited Arlington Country Day before deciding it was too far from home.

“I think what I’ve learned about Aquille is that he feels a real strong bond to his family,” said Whitfield, a Baltimore native. “He wants to make substantial changes in his life, but he could not stomach the idea of doing it so far away in Florida.”

Whitfield said Carr enrolled at Princeton Day Academy, a private school of 58 students with a powerful basketball team, on Monday and will start classes there Wednesday morning.

Carr’s parents could not immediately be reached for comment.

Morgan said Tuesday that Carr was conditionally enrolled at Arlington Day last week but that his full academic transcript never arrived at the Florida school. “He went home over the weekend and decided to stay up there,” Morgan said. “I wish him well. What I heard from someone around him is that he didn’t want to leave home.”

He said that from his brief conversations with Carr, he gleaned that the player cares deeply about his young daughter.

“I have a very strong sense that Aquille wants to change and to address his academic profile,” Whitfield said. “He wants to be challenged and to be prepared to be a college student. He feels he was given a gift, that God presented him an opportunity. And he doesn’t want to miss it.”

The latest transfer continues a chaotic year for Carr, 19, who has verbally committed to play at Seton Hall next season.

In March, Carr led Patterson High to a Maryland 3A state championship. But only a few weeks after the state title game, he transferred to St. Patrick High in Elizabeth, N.J. to work on his academic transcript. He remained there for little more than a month, returning to Patterson in May.

In August, Carr was arrested and charged with assaulting Treshonda Williams, the 20-year-old mother of his infant daughter. In September, city prosecutors said they would put his case on an inactive docket and drop the charges if Carr completed a 22-week program at the House of Ruth.

Then came word that he was Florida-bound, though neither Carr nor his parents commented on the transfer to Arlington Country Day.

Princeton Day, which bills itself as “Maryland’s first all-digital high school,” has emerged as a Washington-area basketball power under Whitfield, who has consistently attracted Division I prospects from other schools.

Carr, a 5-foot-7 guard who has built a national following with his blink-quick dribble moves and sensational dunks, is one of the highest-profile players to join Whitfield.

The coach said he first spoke with Carr about attending Princeton Day two years ago after Carr befriended one of Whitfield’s players at a summer showcase camp.

‘I don’t think basketball even came up,” Whitfield said of his conversations with Carr. “He really wants to get himself prepared to do college work.”

The coach said Carr is on track to be eligible to play as a college freshman, with a qualifying SAT score in hand. “He only needs to complete some core courses, which is the case for most seniors in the United States,” Whitfield said.

He added that he expects Carr to grow as a student, given the individual attention he’ll receive at Princeton Day.

As for Carr’s legal troubles, Whitfield said he researched the situation and came away convinced that Carr will do what he must to keep the assault charges on an inactive docket. “He says he’s committed to doing that and putting this behind him,” Whitfield said. “It’s been a reality check for Aquille, realizing the impact on his reputation.”

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