Small Town and Big Dreams

LeaLea Carter’s Basketball Experience

Aundra Montgomery

LeaLea Carter is up and rising on the basketball court. It is hard to describe a time when a ball is not in her hand.

     “When I was younger, I used to always be outside dribbling a basketball”

The shooting guard for Vanderbilt University’s women’s basketball team is blessed with the opportunity to play for them.

     “It is an honor,” said Carter, “It is a huge blessing for my family and myself.”

During high school, Carter became a U16 gold medalist with the USA Women’s National team, was a McDonald’s All American and ended her high school career with a 109-19 record.  Carter was listed among the top 15 recruits in the nation by several recruiting outlets such as Tennessee, Rutgers, Florida and University of Connecticut.

Although schools from across the country wanted to recruit Carter, she chose Vanderbilt. Not only was she impressed by the school, it was also close to her family and she wanted to be close so that they could see her play.

     “Being from Dickson County, its a small town, so it’s a lot of support. You have so many people who love the sport in general”

Being a student athlete can be hassle, such as making  sure that homework is done and being on time for practice. Cater has to make sure that she is focused academically as well as on the court. Cater will be starting her Junior year in the Fall.

     “Being an athlete, the majority of your time is getting up in the morning and getting ready for practice…you have to be mentally and physically prepared for your journey. You have to know how to take care of your body.”

One game that stuck to Carter was a game against Tennessee during her Freshman year.

     “I really felt at home at that game. It’s something about Tennessee that sets a spark under everyone. Vanderbilt and Tennessee are very competitive”

While preparing for a game, Carter makes sure that she is ready physically, mentally, and also spiritually.

     “I always pray before every game. I pray individually and my team prays collectively as a group”

Carter understands the pressure of being a student athlete, but is blessed to be a part of the Vanderbilt community. She wants those who want to play a sport to follow what they believe in and to not let obstacles get in the way of what they want to accomplish.

     “Follow your dream, follow your heart and no matter what you do don’t let anything hold you back…set a goal for yourself and after you reach that goal, continue setting goals in life and everything else will follow.”