CARL ENGLISH: HIS BASKETBALL JOURNEY FROM NEWFOUNDLAND
The basketball product of St. John’s, Newfoundland, otherwise known as Carl English started his basketball journey at Fatima Academy (St. Bride's, Newfoundland) where he averaged gaudy figures, including 50 points per game in high school!
By the tenth grade, English had been regarded as the top player in the province and was absolutely dominant to say the least.
“I always played with my older brothers in grade six...they would always give me a hard time and I couldn’t get the ball past half court,” explained English.
“I worked extremely hard that summer until I was able to hold my own with the older guys.”
The University of Hawaii alumni would become the third player from Newfoundland to suit up for a division one NCAA program...the other two happened to be in the same bloodline; brothers Tim (Hofstra) and Steve Beckett who played at the University of New Hampshire for a season.
After his basketball supremacy within the province, he would need a change in scenery, which lead him to Toronto, Ontario. He would go on to participate in several showcase events while impressing NCAA programs including Syracuse, Baylor, Hawaii and Notre Dame, to name a few.
“I knew in order for me to get a chance, I had to leave for an opportunity to be noticed.”
While several schools expressed interest, it was the University of Hawaii that offered a full scholarship in the late summer of 1999.
English has enjoyed a prosperous basketball career thus far, as the game has taken him all over the world including Croatia, Italy and currently in Spain where he resides with his wife and two children.
However, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the Canadian national team member as he has endured what very few can, including the loss of his parents in a house fire at the age of five, as well as a misguided opportunity at the NBA.
English provides advice for upcoming Canadian stars based off his first-hand experience with the NBA draft and being projected as a first rounder in 2003.
“If you’re in those situations, you have to make sure you’re trusting the right people...take your time to make the right decision.”
Despite struggles in English’s life both on and off the court, basketball has always been the perfect antidote explaining, “I used to play basketball to escape, and clear my mind from any problems.”
English is currently playing professional basketball in Spain for Cajasol in the ACB league.
“While initially it was the drive to get a fair shot in the NBA; in hindsight, I’m playing basketball at an extremely high level and in a good situation financially for my family.”
As far as young Newfoundlanders are concerned, inspiration is not too far away with the hometown hero still in his prime.
“By me coming from there, hopefully that opens up some doors...it shows that there are players that can succeed from all over Canada.”
At the age of 31, English alludes to the success of fellow Canadian Steve Nash who leads the NBA in assists at 38, and understands that he is far from done.
The proud Canadian from Newfoundland summarized it perfectly.
“You can’t play for ever, but I’ll go until the wheels fall off.”