Aquille Carr isn't worried about the NBA draft Thursday night. After a journey from Baltimore to Beltsville to China to Delaware to New York City, the 20-year-old is excited to hopefully take a momentous step in his basketball career.
The former Patterson star is not on any mock drafts and is not expected to be drafted, but that doesn't fluster him.
"I'm not really stressing too much about the draft," Carr said. "I ain't really been thinking about it. I'll leave it in God's hands."
After announcing plans to declare for the draft on April 20, he has been working out three times a day in New York City. He's also helped out at basketball camps and done charity work, he said.
Carr plans to watch the draft at 7 p.m. with his family. While those outside his circle don't see him getting picked, Carr's agent, Daniel Hazan, likes the 5-foot-6 guard's chances.
"We hope and expect he'll be drafted," Hazan said. "We have looked into other possibilities and other plans if that doesn't happen, but right now we're very optimistic."
If Carr does make it to the NBA, his journey will have been a unique one.
After earning the nickname "Crimestopper" at Patterson — his feats, broadcast on YouTube, were said to be so impressive that crime slowed in East Baltimore when he played — Carr verbally committed to Seton Hall. He played his final high school season at Princeton Day Academy, but instead of moving on to the college game after graduation, he opted to take his electric playing style to China.
He teamed up with Tracy McGrady, but after five months decided to return to America.
Carr then averaged 10.7 points, 1.9 assists and 1.2 steals in 13.8 minutes per game for the NBA D-League's Delaware 87ers. The team released him in January after 10 games, which gave Carr a chance to spend more time with his daughter, Averi, who just turned 2, and his ailing father.
Hazan is confident Carr's game can translate to the NBA.
"We've all seen that he can play at this level," Hazan said. "In the D-League he was very efficient. His statistics were mind-blowing."
During his brief stint with the 87ers, Carr showed the kind of NBA player he could be. Comparisons to Nate Robinson (5-9) Spud Webb (5-7) and Muggsy Bogues (5-3) are inevitable.
Whether Carr defies the odds remains to be seen, but he's convinced he's a better player and person now than he was before he played with the 87ers. He knows now is the best time for him to take his chances in the draft because he has to care for Averi.
"It helped me a lot," Carr said of the D-League. "It gave me great experience. I got out there and showed my talent. I matured more being on my own, like it's professional now, it's not for little kids."