Kerr-Vance's Carrier savors all-star experience
His team didn't come out on the winning side, but David Carrier will take this defeat a little better than most losses.
Carrier's East team fell 136-92 Saturday to the West in the inaugural Upward N.C Private School All-Star Basketball Game at Charlotte's Providence Day School. More focused on managing playing time than Xs and Os, the Kerr-Vance varsity boys head coach was able to enjoy this one.
"You're kind of able to be somewhat of a fan watching the game," said Carrier. "Just seeing the talent one through 12 on both teams and the versatility of these guys when you see 6-7, 6-8 guys that can go out and handle the ball and play point guard and shoot 3s — and the 6-foot guys who can come in and windmill dunk on you.
"They have the total package. Seeing the talent, the attitude and the academic side of it — it's what it's all about. I just feel very honored to be a part of it."
The contest featured 14 players who have committed to a Division I school including the West's James Demery, who scored a game-high 22 points. Demery, of nearby Northside Christian, is a St. Joseph's recruit and was one of four Northside players on the West roster. Northside recently claimed its third consecutive N.C. Independent School Athletic Association Class 2-A title.
Joey McLean of High Point Christian and Adrian Rich of Village Christian each led the East with 18 points.
Alec Wnuk added 10 points for the East. The 6-foot-7 Christ School product and UNC Asheville recruit said he learned a lot in a short amount of time from Carrier.
"He's a great guy, a great coach," said Wnuk. "He's intense. I just liked being around him."
Carrier coached at Providence Day for 12 seasons, leading the Chargers to two 3-A state titles.
Carrier's coaching adversary on Saturday was a familiar one. The West squad was led by former Charlotte Latin coach Jerry Faulkner, who served as a head coach in the 2001 McDonald’s All-American Game.
"You knew they were going to be very good defensively," Faulkner said of Carrier's Providence Day teams. "He's a great motivator so they weren't ever going to not be up. His teams weren't going to beat themselves and that's the trademark of a good coach — they don't beat themselves — and Coach Carrier always had them ready to play."
Brian Field, Providence Day's varsity boys head coach and a former player and assistant coach of Carrier's, organized the event with Upward Stars.
Longtime KVA assistant coach Bob Walker joined Carrier on the East sideline along with Casey Field, the athletics director at Gaston Day School. Field also played for Carrier at Providence Day before coaching alongside him.
Walker made his first trip back to the Mosack Athletic Center gym at Providence Day since helping guide the Spartans to a 2-A state championship win over Westchester Country Day School in 2005.
"I think this is the first of many all-star games going forward," said Walker. "Dave and I probably won't ever get the opportunity again, but we got the first one. It's great to see him honored and him honor me by asking me to come with him."
The boys game was preceded by a girls all-star game that featured Providence Day's Jatarie White, a McDonald's All-American and South Carolina recruit. The East won 69-66.
Carrier recently wrapped up his eighth season at KVA.
For Carrier, "coaching is coaching" and he's bringing the same enthusiasm whether he's coaching the Spartans or high-flying all-stars bound for Division I.
"We have kids that might not have the overall athleticism these teams have," Carrier said of KVA. "But they play just as hard and work just as hard as a team."
And being part of a team was what Carrier enjoyed most about the all-star experience.
"Just being with them, laughing and joking and getting to know them," said Carrier. "Just being a team — that was the highlight of the day."
Contact the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.