The guard they call the “Crimestopper” is starting over in Newark.
The Delaware 87ers selected former Baltimore prep basketball phenom Aquille Carr in the third round (No. 43 overall) of the NBA Development League Draft on Friday night, bringing the onetime blue-chip recruit’s globe-trotting basketball odyssey to a halt. For now, at least.
Carr last played during a barnstorming tour of China this summer alongside former NBA star Tracy McGrady and league champion Jason Williams. After averaging about 15 points and nine assists, Carr was offered a contract by a Chinese Basketball Association team, his agent, Johnny Foster, said. But Carr, who has an infant daughter, chose to return stateside, less than a year after announcing that he would play professionally in Europe.
The tall tales about the 5-foot-6 dynamo are well rehearsed. Carr averaged 25 points his freshman year at Patterson, then averaged 32 per game and was named All-Metro Player of the Year as a sophomore. He won a state title and committed to play at Seton Hall in his next, and final, season in East Baltimore.
He transferred to St. Patrick High (N.J.) midway through his junior season for academic reasons, but returned to Patterson after only a month. Last August, Carr was arrested and charged with assaulting the mother of his daughter. Those charges were later dropped. He left Patterson a second time for Arlington Country Day (Fla.), but wound up at Beltsville's Princeton Day for his final high school season.
Life in the NBA’s minor league is not glamorous. According to an ESPN.com report last November, salaries fall into one of three player classifications: $25,500, $19,000 and $13,000. Players do receive housing and insurance benefits, plus a $40 per diem for food on road trips, but the league’s realities are divorced from the more glitzy, well-compensated realm of the NBA.
The 87ers, for intance, were the Utah Flash until this year. They play in Delaware’s men’s basketball arena. Their roster includes some players you may know — Sean Williams (Boston College), Jerome Dyson (Connecticut) — and others you may not — Chris Cooper (Old Dominion), Josh Akognon (Cal State Fullerton). Carr is now a teammate, for better or for worse.