Vicksburg High School’s Kelvin Carter has been named as the Vicksburg Daily News 2022-2023 Boy’s Basketball Head Coach of the Year.
From the beginning of the season, VHS started off hot without their complete team, due to football, but quickly went on a 10-game winning streak. The streak would be only the beginning of many good things.
“They really played hard but the offseason was a testament to them guys,” Carter said. “We had a few to run cross country and the workouts were really good in the stadium and the weight room but they held each other accountable and when we got the football players back that was just the icing on the cake.”
Carter eventually got back his full team which returned players like Tyler Henderson and Mikey Johnson, who contributed heavily, while veterans Malik Franklin and Davion Williams continued to rule things on the court. After their tenth victory, the Gators only suffered two losses before knocking off 14 teams in a row, including picking up Carter’s 100th career win.
In the process where VHS went 27-2, they took down big teams like Callaway and Provine twice and ranked in the top 10 in the state and No.1 in 5A. Carter was quickly selected as the District Coach of the Year.
Late in the season, all eyes were on Carter and his team as they easily proved that the Gators ran the City of Vicksburg while preparing for the District Championship. However, VHS took a shocking 42-38 loss to Provine in the District Championship.
“To lose that game was horrific and disheartening but basketball is one of those sports that you have to finish the whole game because we were just 22 seconds away,” Carter said.
The Gators went on to the playoffs and knocked off Lafayette 82-52 before falling short to New Hope in the second round with VHS ending their season with a 28-4 record.
Despite their season being cut short, Carter led the Gators to one of the best seasons in VHS history while competing against tough teams that defeated them in years prior to 2023.
“It’s the same thing I tell them everything after practice and after the game which is you have to work hard on and off the court to be successful, not only in basketball but also in life and you have to put your best foot forward,” Carter said.
Where it all started:
Carter’s basketball journey began at a young age in his neighborhood which was filled with poverty and violence. He beat the odds and focused on the things that were most important to him.
“I picked up a ball in a place called Eastview Apartments and as a seventh grader I was very bad and that’s why I tell tall people that when your hand and feet catch up with each other you’re going to be very good,” Carter said jokingly. “I put the work in and I went from playing center in my first year as an eighth grader to playing point guard and 2-guard for the rest of my life because I worked on my ball handling skills.”
With the help of many, Carter stayed on a straight path and played for Chris Adamson at VHS as he realized that basketball would always be in his life.
“I had a good upbringing and I had some older guys in the neighborhood that pushed me and made me work on my jump shot to get better. When you see Steph Curry and all those guys, we were shooting jump shots long before them and not getting paid for it,” Carter said with a smile.
All these years later, basketball remains important in Carter’s life after wrapping up his sixth season as head coach.
“For me basketball is life and it made me the man I am today because it pays my bills, it made me a good father, husband and friend,” said Carter.
This is coach Kelvin Carter’s second time being named the VDN Coach of the Year and the selection was an easy choice.
“It’s very humbling and I can’t do it without the other coaches starting with Coach Hardiman and Coach Carter at the junior high and Coach Bell and Coach Williams up here because we grind all the time even over the holidays,” said Carter.
Although Carter put in the hard work, he didn’t hesitate to remember those who stuck with him.
“I personally want to thank my wife because she has afforded me the opportunity to be gone in the summer and late evenings even sometimes missing church but she is definitely my rock and Stacey Carter is truly a blessing,” Carter said. “I also want to thank my kids because family is everything and but with the exception of God, the most important people are my mother Terry Moore and my grandmother Rosemary McKnight, because growing up without a father those two women were my rock and they would not want me to be a sorry man.”See a typo? Report it here.