Coach Ken Carter, bold disciplinarian, motivational speaker and movie inspiration, will speak at USF tonight. The man who started a legacy by benching his undefeated high school basketball team will appear at 6:30 in the Special Events Center — just on the tails of the Jan. 14 Coach Carter movie release.
Carter received national attention when he padlocked his high school basketball team out of the gym at Richmond High School in Northern California. According to Carter’s Web site www.coachcarter.com, 15 of the 45 players were not living up to the academic contracts signed in the preseason, and all basketball-related activities were cancelled. Carter encouraged the team to study together in the school library instead of practicing in order to provide more post-secondary opportunity than sports ensure. Carter thought it was equally important to not only succeed as a basketball player but also as a student.
Since employing the tactics that motivated his team to make the grade, Carter has been spreading an uplifting message through multiple endeavors.
Carter has his name on a series of books intended to help students improve their GPA, self-image and knowledge of black history.
He has also become a highly sought-after lecturer, promoting the ideals of integrity and hard work. An autobiography is expected this season.
Multicultural Activities is responsible for bringing Coach Carter to campus. The event will finish off a busy two-week celebration of Martin Luther King’s legacy.
“We wanted someone who is inspirational to come and speak,” said Nicole Walters, representative for Jewels of Tau and member of Multicultural Activities.
“Coach Carter showed the youth that there is more out there in life, especially in education,” said Walters. “There are a lot of things out there that can deter you from that. The MLK celebration is about education and uniting all people.”
The event is free and open to the public.
Last year’s celebration brought in another motivational speaker fresh off a movie release: Antwone Fisher. Carter brings his team-oriented approach to the USF campus.
“Coach Carter brought those concepts to his team; at USF we’re all a team, regardless of race, color, creed,” Walters said. “He worked for unity.”
According to his Web site, Carter uses real-life examples and a down-to-earth tone to deliver his message. His approach to living a positive life is all about “keeping it real.”