When Aquille Carr was not selected in June’s NBA draft, the one-time Patterson star shopped his services as far overseas as Israel.
As it turns out, the “Crimestopper” might be able to continue his career without leaving the continent.
Carr, who has bounced around basketball's fringe since foregoing a scholarship to play at Seton Hall, is close to signing a deal with the Saint John Mill Rats, a team in Canada's National Basketball League.
Ian McCarthy, the team's president and chief executive officer, said Wednesday that a contract soon would be finalized. Daniel Hazan, Carr's agent, said the two-time All-Metro Player of the Year would sign a six-month contract within the next couple days.
The contract includes an opt-out clause that would allow Carr to terminate the deal at the end of the month, but Hazan said he didn't expect that to happen.
“He definitely needed this opportunity,” Hazan said. “I think it's the only team that wanted to help him become better.”
After going undrafted, Carr said he tried out for a few NBA Development League teams in addition to considering Israel. Saint John — in New Brunswick — was the 5-foot-6 guard's best opportunity.
“I'm glad they gave me the opportunity,” Carr said. “I’m just going up there ready to just listen and be coachable and be a great player to the team. I just want to get out there.”
In a league that requires teams to carry at least four Canadians on their roster, Carr would become the second recent addition to the organization with Baltimore ties. Julian King, who played basketball at Coppin State during the 1996-97 season, was hired Aug. 12 to coach the Mill Rats.
Carr said he didn't know King before agreeing to sign. He has not even met his new coach yet — Carr said he planned to leave for Saint John next week, but he doesn’t know where he will live when he arrives.
The NBL is Canada's only professional basketball league. Founded in 2011, the league has eight teams, which are split between the Central Division and the Atlantic Division. The Mill Rats (24-20) had the fifth-best record in the league last season. Their first game this season is Nov. 1.
If the deal is finalized, it would resurrect Carr's career, which was most recently interrupted last winter.
After being drafted by the Delaware 87ers — the NBA D-League affiliate of the Philadelphia 76ers — last November, Carr was released by the team in January. He appeared in 10 games with the 87ers and averaged 10.7 points, 1.9 assists and 1.2 steals in 13.8 minutes per game.
Carr, 20, said he learned a great deal from his experience with the 87ers, and has matured since losing his job with them.
Brandon Williams, the 87ers general manager, said in January that Carr struggled to adjust to the professional game and was “less available than we would like.”
Carr said: “They taught me you can't be late.”
Soon after being cut, Carr signed with Hazan Sports Management, which finally connected him with the Mill Rats.
“He's going to go down there and see what it's like,” Hazan said.