COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Making it to the pros: that’s the moment athletes dream about from the day their career begins. That’s the reality for former Mississippi State point guard Tyson Carter.
Not only did the COVID-19 pandemic end his college career early — it also derailed his plans at pursuing a professional career.
“At that time, the NBA season had been cancelled,” Carter explained. “They were still trying to finish it from last year. The draft had got pushed back. Everything got pushed back. I just had to go ahead to make the move and come over here.
On June 14th, 2020, Carter signed a contract to play basketball for Lavrio in the Greek Basket League, the top professional league in Greece. He arrived August 30th but faced some obstacles beforehand.
“New rules would be put in place as I was trying to leave. I get the COVID test. I was ready to leave. Then they say I need a VISA. It was a lot of different stuff I had to get before making sure I came,” Carter said.
The season was originally scheduled to start October 10th, 2020 but was delayed due to the coronavirus spreading within the league. Twelve players and staff contracted the virus on Lavrio including Carter forcing him to quarantine for three weeks.
“I don’t think I ever took 20 days off without touching a basketball. Most people that know me know that I don’t really get tired. I usually can run. When I came back from COVID, I was asking for subs a lot. I couldn’t play hard and fast like I wanted to or else I would be tired from just a couple trips of running down,” Carter said.
Now, Carter is back at full strength averaging 14 points a game helping Lavrio compete for a league title. Despite all the challenges that have been thrown his way during an unusual rookie campaign, Carter is grateful because of the growth that’s accompanied it.
“I didn’t have to go away to go to college. I grew up in Starkville. I went to college in Starkville. I never had to leave Starkville so COVID has been a blessing in disguise because I focused more on myself,” Carter said.
Carter plans on using his newfound mindset to go further in his career in hopes of ultimately making that NBA dream a reality.