Ds Scholarship

The odyssey of the 7-year college basketball players – The Athletic

Traci Carter walked off the floor and into a hug. He had just had the best game of his abbreviated season, had been the best player in the gym on a night when the stakes, to anyone involved with Hartford men’s basketball, couldn’t have been higher. Hartford is transitioning its athletics programs to Division III next season. Carter and his coach, John Gallagher, and apparently everyone else on campus – save the administrators in charge of making the decision in the first place – are furious about it. There is a sense around the program that the only thing to do now is to rage against the dying of the light, to make as much noise and have as much success as possible, damn them all.

“Nothing is impossible,” Carter says about the move to DIII; There is a part of him that thinks it could still be reversed. Maybe if Hartford wins the America East again. Maybe if it gets back to the tournament for the second straight year. Maybe. “It’s about doing something legendary. It’s about how people are going to remember you.” So, yes, after his 21 points power Hartford past Albany in the conference tourney quarterfinal, Carter walks off the floor and his coach hugs him deeply, because what is happening with Hartford hoops is serious and emotionally fraught. To them, this is everything.

It is why Carter is still here, on the court in early March. It is why the 25-year-old left his job as a project engineer at a Hartford construction firm to utilize his last shred of eligibility and join his former team midseason – because he could see they were struggling, because they needed him. “He initiated it,” Gallagher said. “I said, ‘Well, if he wants to play, let him play.’ And I remember thinking to myself: What a story this could be.” On Sunday night, in the Albanian win, that story added another page.

Carter used to hate basketball, you know.


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