Summer at Saint Mary's means there are plenty of new athletes getting acclimated to their new surroundings. Throughout the offseason, SMCGaels.com will sit down with some of the newest student-athletes on campus to see how their transition to college life is going.
The second athlete to be featured in the series is men's basketball player Kerry Carter. A native of West Covina, Calif., Carter comes to Saint Mary's via Citrus College. After averaging 20.4 points per game to lead the Owls in scoring last season, Carter earned a spot on the all-Western State Conference South Division first team. He recently took a minute to sit down with SMCGaels.com and chat about his transition to life at Saint Mary's.
SMCGaels.com: So, with a few weeks at Saint Mary's under your belt now, what's impressed you most about your new surroundings?
Kerry Carter: Just the culture we have here. It's unlike any place else. Other schools that were recruiting me kind of played the pitch that they wanted you to help build the culture whereas here, it's already established. It's nice to get around some guys that want to work hard and have the same goals you do.
SMCGaels.com: What's been your focus since you got on the court here at SMC?
Carter: In the first few weeks of practice, I'm focusing on being a knock down shooter and just overall toughness. That's going to be my role this year. Not so much scoring, but alleviating the pressure for other guys. Getting the hustle points, doing the dirty work, that's going to be my role.
SMCGaels.com: Everyone seems to be focused on the loss of Matthew Dellavedova. What might the identity of this year's team look like without a player like that?
Carter: I don't think you can duplicate a guy like Delly. Just from the little bit I've known him, he's a stud. I think people underestimate this team as a unit and our cohesiveness already. They don't get to see the work we put in together, the hours. This team is going to be something special. I think the amount of wins we're going to get together is going to be amazing to watch. I'm excited to be here.
SMCGaels.com: Have you spent much time in the Bay Area before coming to Saint Mary's?
Carter: I had been up here twice before, once to Sacramento for a Junior College Final Four game and then we played Diablo Valley College once. I knew a little bit about the area but I had never heard of Moraga before Saint Mary's. To get here and see how small the town was, that's a blessing for me. I'm out of the way, I'm out of trouble. There's nothing to focus on but what I'm really here for and that's basketball and school. That's right up my alley.
SMCGaels.com: The athleticism of this year's team looks mighty impressive, and I've seen you guys working hard in the weight room. To me, it looks like you, Paul (McCoy) and Beau (Levesque) could win a weightlifting competition right now. Thoughts?
Carter: I think those are our three studs right there when it comes to weightlifting, me, Paul and Beau. We're always in there looking for new workouts and tweaking things. We're those guys that are workout nerds. We're texting each other saying 'hey, I've got something new for us' and we get all excited about the lifts. We put as much effort in there as we do on the court and I think that's going to help us as far as staying healthy and going the extra mile on the court to get those wins and grind it out.