- March 8, 2023
A grey bearded Vince Carter stands next to a glass trophy case outside of a full, noisy basketball gym at Mainland High School. In the case are old trophies, jerseys and magazine covers from Carter’s playing days with the Buccaneers and the North Carolina Tar Heels.
After multiple interviews with reporters, Carter, who played his 25th season in the NBA with the Atlanta Hawks in 2018-19, is ready to return to action.
With a whistle in hand, he returns to the court.
The 2019 Vince Carter Youth Basketball Academy celebrated the first day of camp on Monday, July 15. Dozens of kids, ages 7 to 17, from around the area filed into Mainland’s Vince Carter Athletic Center to learn the game from the man once dubbed “half-man, half-amazing,” as well as Buccaneers boys varsity coach Joe Giddens and several assistant coaches and volunteers.
The camp was from 8 a.m. to noon July 15-19.
In addition to basketball skills, there was also fitness and education stations.
The camp has been going on for 21 years now.
“This is what I want to do,” Carter said. “I’ve enjoyed helping kids, providing opportunity, helping them create a vision for themselves. It’s always great to come back here. It brings it all full circle.”
Carter attributed some of his NBA success to the camps that he got to participate in when he was growing up. In addition to basketball, Carter said he’s using his camp as an opportunity to teach kids valuable life lessons.
“What we’re trying to teach here are life skills, education, being able to adjust from one dynamic to another," he said. “I want the kids to learn something new about somebody else’s background. We have that opportunity here. Learn just a little something about each other’s everyday life. It’s never too early.”