Back from injury, Hazen's Carr revels in Lions All-Star opportunity
BISMARCK -- In this week's Lions All-Star Basketball series, pitting Class A's best against Class B, Hazen forward Wyatt Carr combined for 11 points in two games.
BISMARCK - In this week's Lions All-Star Basketball series, pitting Class A's best against Class B, Hazen forward Wyatt Carr combined for 11 points in two games.
His Class B squad lost both matchups - 99-82 on Monday in Bismarck and 109-100 in Fargo on Tuesday - but the fact he was able to play at all was what he called "a blessing."
After being named second team all-state in Class B as a junior - when he averaged 29.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and six assists per game for the Bison - Carr seemed poised for another stellar year as a senior.
Just after the team's winter break, however, Carr's final season was cut short due to a broken right foot.
"We had about a minute left in practice. I came down on a teammate's foot, rolled it and broke it," Carr recalled after Monday's game at the Bismarck Event Center, where he scored six points. "I had one region game under me when it happened."
Without Carr, the Bison tumbled to the 11th seed in the Region 7 tournament, losing to New England in the first round.
"It took it out of me big-time when it happened," Carr said. "The doctor said with surgery it might be six weeks until you start getting back into things. In my head I thought I could make it back by the end of the season, but with that kind of injury, it takes a long time to heal."
Carr, who was honored as a Class A quarterback as a senior, described a lengthy rehab process that helped him regain his strength and agility.
"I felt good (Monday)," he said. "I think my rehab went well. I've been working out on it, and it's been feeling good."
So feared was Carr when healthy, Region 7 coaches by and large hoped to avoid Hazen's side of the bracket once it came to tournament time. Avoiding a matchup with Carr on the way to the Region 7 title game was considered a minor victory in itself.
"He's thick, he's a big boy," said Shawn Stoltz, a Dickinson Trinity graduate and Carr's teammate on the Class B Lions All-Star roster. "That size, he's 6-5 and he's strong, he's quick on his feet. He can take you off the bounce, and he's a great shooter. But when he's fully healthy, he's an unbelievable player."
Indeed, on a Class B all-star squad - that included Four Winds-Minnewaukan's point guard Steve Redfox and Mr. Basketball candidate Tronis McKay, also a talented ball handler - Carr would sometimes find himself bringing the ball up the court and running the offense.
Carr brings a mix of size and skill to the floor that is relatively uncommon; that's likely why the University of Mary valued him so much and signed him.
"It's great to see him out there playing," said Stoltz, a Dickinson State men's basketball commit. "I didn't get to play against him in high school ball because he broke his foot, but to see him move past that, as you can see by this game, he's doing fine. He's moving toward the next step in his career. Playing with him after playing against him for my whole life, it's a great opportunity to learn from him. That's what I'm trying to do. He's a great player so I'm trying to pick up on his tendencies. There's a reason he's going to the next level."
To have gotten another opportunity to be a high school athlete in the Lions All-Star series, Carr was extremely grateful.
"It's a blessing to be one of the top 12 players in Class B and be recognized for that. I appreciated that," he said. "It's amazing. It's an end of an era. You go off to college and you start over, pretty much. When you get to end it here, playing the sport you love in high school, it's just amazing."