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Page 2B SPORTS Hays Free Press May, 1 2013 + + BY MOSES LEOS III moses@haysfreepress.com / 'r_or most of his basket- ~--( ball career, people have JL looked past Lehman senior point guard DeAndre Carson. With relafively small stature, many believed his success on the hardwood was hard to believe. Yet, the way Carson perse- vered beyond the doubts of his detractors and naysayers is a testament to his inner character and strength.After a stellar four- year career in a Lobo uniform, which saw Carson average 15.7 points per game, score nearly 2,000 points and set numerous Lehman scoring records, he was rewarded with a dream which many hoopsters dream of: A full-ride scholarship to play col- legiate basketball. This dream was realized on April 26, as Carson signed his national letter of intent to play for the Texas A&M Commerce Lions in Fall 2013. "It feels really great to work this hard to get this opportu- nity, to have the ability to play the next level," Carson said. "I really like the idea of playing PHOTO BY JIM CULLEN DeAndre Carson (front and center) with his parents Nikki and Charlie Carson. Back row (I-r) is haed coach Thomas Acker and assistant coaches Darren Johnson and Cesar De Los Santos receive a near full ride schol- was; he always had a tar- to grow further. arship, with his sophomore, get on his chest the last two "When he gets in the col]ege junior and senior years fully years. Even so, he was able world, when he is challenged for (A&M Commerce)." The camaraderie of the Lion basketball team members helped Carson choose the school. "I had the chance to play against some of the current (A&M Commerce) players during a campus visit," said Carson. '3 met them and they were cool; they welcomed me as ifI were already a part of their team." He also enjoyed the sprawl of the campus, saying its future expansion will enrich his col- lege experience. "I think the campus was cool; they are making new stuff out there," said Carson. "They are making it better for every- one that attends." Perhaps the proudest people in the Lobo Den were Carson's parents, Nikki and Charlle Car- son. Both displayed beaming, ear-to-ear smiles, their eyes brimming with tears. They noted the progress and determination DeAndre exhib- ited from his days in Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basket- ball to the high school ranks. "Because of his stature, the fact that he feels the need to prove something to people, it always makes him work even harder," said Nikki Carson. "The ability to adapt, face ad- versity and the character build- ing it creates is also important. Every year he has transitioned to getting better, just by doing that. His work ethic allows him to play his way on the court." His work ethic off the court paid off as well. The four year Academic All-District will paid. "We are blessed that he is on scholarship at a great school," said Nikki, who said DeAndre did not qualify for any financial aid. "Everyyear that he gets to attend school and re-up his scholarship- it is a blessing." DeAndre's parents hope he will earn a quality education - that is their goal. "The most important part for both of us is that (DeAndre) can go to school for four more years and get a quality educa- tion," said Chaflie Carson, who was a basketball player for Austin Bowie in the mid- 1990'S. On the court, Carson ex- celled as a scorer from all over the floor. He scored 30 or more points in eight career games, made a total of 175 three-point shots in a Lobo uniform and averaged 27 points per game in the second half of district this past season. His selflessness made an im- pression with Lobo head coach Thomas Acker. "DeAndre has done every- thing we have asked him to do. He has gone above and beyond," said Acker. "He is tremendously talented and he works really hard. He is committed to his program and teammates; playing the right way and doing whatever he could do to help us." Opponents also understood the impact Carson brought to the floor, as he played 127 of a total 129 games in his four-year high school career, starting in 126 of them. "Everyone knew who he Hays Baseball Continued from pg. 1A four or five hitters in a row bat- we had at the beginning of the fled with two strikes. That is a season." great thing." Yet, the emotion of coaching The Rebels also kept each this senior class, manyofwhom other motivated during the Null coached when they were game. "We worked well as a freshman, was a remarkable team tonight," Diaz said. "No experience for the first year one got their heads down, ev- head coach. "When they stared eryone kept ,fighting for each walking down the field with other, playing as a team. If we their parents, I got a little emo- can continue that, we will be tional," Null said. "But a lot of able to go far." things went through my mind, Null said he enjoyed the grat- such as, 'how quickly those four ifying experience of sharing the years have passed, look at these district title. "It is a great feel- great young men.' Not only are ing, it really is," he said. "Ear- they great baseball players, but lier this year, we won 10 straight they are a great group of kids, games, and were really on a roll. great individuals and great citi- Then we went through a period zens. As a coach, it is a fantastic where we played a few close thing to see." games, but came up short sew The playoffs begin for the eral times. This (win) is big for Rebels on May 2-4 in a three our momentum, for the play- game series against San Anto- offs, to regain the momentum nio Burbant. to perform every night," said Acker, who complimented the skill Carson brings to the table. "People do not realize how well he handles the ball. We've played against teams that had kids that are going to Division I colleges that could not stop him." Acker also praised Carson's ability to be a regular contribu- tor. "The best thing about De- Andre is that he does not need the ball to make an impact," he said. "when I talked to other coaches, they always ask about his ability to score. I made them understand that he does not need the ball to be effective." Carson completed his career with 442 total assists. The Lobos head coach understands that Carson has a got of work ahead of him at the next level. Still, they say his humbleness, and the op- portunity to play with top tier athletes, will give him a chance on a daily basis and spending time with more skilled play- ers around him, he is going to quickly improve," said Acker, who added, "I'm not sure Com- merce knows what they are getting; I think a lot of schools will regret not recruiting him. Commerce is getting a good one; he will fit in just fine." Carson now awaits his chance to play with Com- merce, whose up-tempo style of play suits the young point guard. His ultimate goal is to help the Lion program attain the pinnacle of success in Division II basketball, saying, "Before I leave, I aim to bring a title to this school." In addition to Academic All- District honors, Carson also was named as District 27-4A'S Co-Offensive MVP in 2012, named to the All-Centex Team (Third Team) by the Austin American Statesman and was First Team All-District in 27-4A for all four years. FARMERS" Debbie Thames Insurance Agency AUTO HOME LIFE BOAT HEALTH 251 N. FM 1626 #2C Buda, TX 78610 Office: (512) 312-1917 Fax: 312-0688 Email: dvthames @austin.rr.com Monday-Friday, 9mn-5pm Your Business & Referrals Are Appreciated Han before you plant! You can help avoid future tree trimming, potential fire hazards and power interruptions by planting with overhead power lines in mind. 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