Former Aggie All-American Jaycee Carroll Continuing To Excel On Basketball Court
July 17, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - The name Jaycee Carroll is not an unknown name in Cache Valley. His career as a Utah State basketball player was spent breaking records, earning awards and helping the Aggies to two consecutive NCAA Tournaments and four-straight postseason appearances.
Carroll earned honorable mention All-American honors after his junior season, setting him up for even more success as a senior. He passed Greg Grant as the all-time leading scorer at Utah State with his first shot in a game against Idaho in January, 2008. By the end of that year, he had 2,507 career points, just 35 points shy of being the all-time leading scorer in the state of Utah.
Carroll started his professional career playing in Italy before moving to Spain and the ACB (Asociación de Clubs de Baloncesto) where he spent two seasons playing for Gran Canaria. He spent the 2011-12 season with Real Madrid, where he is contracted for two more seasons. In his first season in Madrid, Carroll shot 54.7 percent from the field (87-159), 40.4 percent from the three-point line (55-136) and 86.0 percent from the charity stripe (49-57), while averaging 12.0 points per game.
Back in Logan for the summer, Carroll took a few minutes to talk about his season as well as his future.
Give us a quick recap on this last season.
"This past year, I had the chance to play in the Euroleague for the first time. We got to play in Milan, Serbia, Vienna - just a bunch of places all over Europe. It was a really great experience. We made it to the top 16 there, which was good. There were times we could have done better, but it was a good season.
"The biggest highlight of the year was in the middle of the season. Every year, the top eight teams play in the King's Cup. We won that, beating Barcelona in the championship. In that game, I scored 22 points in 20 minutes. It was the first King's Cup Madrid had won in 19 years.
"As the season continued, my team finished second in the league, so we entered the playoffs as the second seed. In the first round we swept Civica in a three-game series. In the second round we played Caja Laboral from Victoria, Spain, and we beat them in a best of five series, in game five, to go to the championship. We started the championship playing at Barcelona where we led the entire game and with two seconds left, we were up by two and they threw up a half-court shot and made it. We won the next game by four, and went back to Madrid for game three. We absolutely killed them there, winning by 26 points and getting up 2-1 in the series. They won game four and we headed back to Barcelona where we all played a tight game, but they ended up winning the championship by four points.
"I led our team in scoring; I finished as runner-up for top shooting guard in our league and had a successful season."
Rumor is you'll be playing with a couple of NBA teams this summer. Care to elaborate on that?
Any big plans for the summer then?
"I head back to Spain on Aug. 21. I also received dual citizenship this last year, so I'm also a citizen of Azerbaijan, which is on the northern border of Iran. I'll go there Aug. 5 to play with their national team in a pre-qualifying tournament."
What are some things you learned from Stew Morrill and the staff here that have been applicable in your professional career?
What was the biggest change from playing college basketball to playing professionally?
What has been your favorite part about living and playing overseas?
"It's fun having my little family over there. We're all we have over there, so we have to come together and look out for each other without our friends and family. It's also nice to just play basketball and not have to worry about doing homework and stuff on top of that."
What has been the impact of having two kids rather than just one?