Aquille Carr in a class by himself

November, 28, 2011
11/28/11
2:08
PM ET
Aquille CarrKelly Kline/ESPNHSAquille Carr turned down a $750,000 contract to play overseas.


According to the ESPNU 60, there are 58 players from the Class of 2013 better than Aquille Carr.

That may be true. After all, he’s a 5-foot-7 guard who struggles from the outside. So when you look at it like that, Carr’s ranking seems generous.

There’s another way to look at it, though. A way that puts less emphasis on measurables and projection and more on results. And if you look at it like that, Carr is in a class by himself.

Let’s start with a quick glance at his high school play for Patterson (Baltimore, Md.). After regularly dropping 30-plus points as a freshman, he led the Clippers to their first city title since 1976 last season and their first-ever state title game appearance while averaging 31.3 points per game.

Along the way he has become a city legend. Fans flock to watch his games, earning him the nickname The Crime Stopper because typically dangerous streets are empty every time he suits up.

And there’s more.

On a trip to Europe last fall for an international tournament, Carr captivated a whole different audience. Italian fans literally carried him off the court after he dropped 45 points in one game, and he was offered a $750,000 contract by the professional team Lottomatica Roma — the same team Brandon Jennings played for during his stint overseas.

Carr turned the offer down, but not before giving it some serious thought.

“It wasn’t the right time,” Carr says. “It was fun in Italy, but I have other things I want to do.”

He crossed one item off his to-do list in August when he played in the prestigious Boost Mobile Elite 24 in Venice Beach, Calif. The game was televised on ESPNU, allowing Carr to show his stuff on the national stage against many of the nation’s top recruits.

All he did was effortlessly slice through traffic and get to the rim at will en route to a 21-point, 10-assist performance that earned him co-MVP honors.

“That meant a lot,” he says. “Getting to play with those big names, that’s what I work hard for every day, for that opportunity.”

So that’s the other case for Aquille Carr. Local fans idolize him, foreign teams want to sign him and top recruits can’t match him.

Which case is correct? Only time will tell.

But we can’t wait to watch.

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