Class of 17: No. 11 Pace Academy (Ga.) forward Wendell Carter Jr.

Class of 17: No. 11 Pace Academy (Ga.) forward Wendell Carter Jr.

The Class of 17

Class of 17: No. 11 Pace Academy (Ga.) forward Wendell Carter Jr.

Wendell Carter Jr. is one of the best basketball players in the country. (Photo: USA Basketball)

Wendell Carter Jr. is one of the best basketball players in the country. (Photo: USA Basketball)

ATHLETE PROFILE:
Name: Wendell Carter Jr.
School: Pace Academy (Atlanta)
Sport: Boys Basketball
Position: Forward

It’s not that he doesn’t care and it’s not that he’s not honored to be so highly regarded, but the fact that Pace Academy (Atlanta) star Wendell Carter Jr. is ranked No. 2 overall in the ESPN 100 isn’t as impressive for the 6-foot-10 forward as you might think.

“I’m not focused on being the best high school player in the country,” Carter said. “Because that stuff is different depending on where you look; I’m trying to be more than that. I’m trying to be the next Anthony Davis.”

That’s right, Carter is gunning for comparisons to the New Orleans Hornets star who signed a five-year $145 million contract last July.

“The main reason I say Anthony Davis is because he’s really versatile and he’s a great person on and off the court,” said Carter, who’s mulling over offers from every from Duke to Kansas to Kentucky to Harvard and many others. “We’re about the same size and he can just do it all. He’s a great teammate and he’s one of those guys you never hear anything negative about. Obviously, he’s had a lot of success in the NBA and that’s a goal of mine too.”

If high school dominance is any indication of how he could potentially pan out as a pro, Carter could very well eclipse Davis’ lucrative contract in the near future.

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Last season he averaged 25 points, nine rebounds and three assists in route to leading the Knights to the state title. He followed that up with a strong performance on arguably the toughest summer shoe circuit, the Nike EYBL, in the country, averaging 15 points and eight rebounds a game for Team CP3 (N.C.), which made it to the Elite 8 of the prestigious Nike Peach Jam tournament last month.

Carter led the Georgia Stars to the Peach Jam title last summer.

Last month, he earned his second gold medal with USA Basketball, this time with U17 squad.

Carter scored 11 points, grabbed eight rebounds and swiped three steals in USA’s 96-56 win over Turkey.

“This summer has been a lot of fun and I definitely feel like I’ve grown a lot as a player and just as a young man,” Carter said. “More than anything, I just want to be remembered as the guy who was always pushing himself to the limit on the court. I want to be remembered as an easygoing, nice guy off the court, but, on the court, as a guy who did whatever it took to win.”

Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY

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Class of 17: No. 11 Pace Academy (Ga.) forward Wendell Carter Jr.
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