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Van-Far Athlete of the Week

Posted on Thursday, February 29, 2024 at 9:19 pm

By Brandie Gay

Carter Jennings, No. 35 for the Indians, is a 6-foot, 3-inch strong post with a back to basket game. Jennings has the ability to block or alter shots, dominate the glass and score around the hoop with his 60% from the field and 75% from the foul line.

One skill that Jennings has that will translate at any basketball level you play—rebounding. Some of the greatest players in the NBA are mainly used for this skill and not for scoring points because they are relentless on the glass. Rebounding comes down from positioning and most importantly, heart and effort.

In his last home game against Bowling Green, Jennings collected nine rebounds to lead the team on the glass. Coach Pat Connaway said his biggest memory of Jennings came from this last game.

“The biggest memory that sticks out to me from Carter is just from last week’s game versus Bowling Green,” he said. “He stepped over and took his first charge in four years against one of the best players in the EMO and it was a huge momentum swing in our game.”

Connaway has coached this group of kids since their first grade year. “Being able to watch Carter grow, transform his body and just get better and better has been a true joy to watch,” he said. “I can’t express how much this kid means to me.” Adding that, “He truly is like my son and I am truly blessed to have been able to coach this outstanding young man!”

Since Carter was little, he has been a basketball loving kid, Connaway explained. “You drive by and he is/was always shooting out in his driveway and in the summer they were always playing at someone’s house. He has grown up loving the game and playing it.

And during the last four years, Connaway said, “Carter has continually improved year after year. Carter has always had the skill set and tools to be a very effective player; this year he finally has the mindset and confidence to know he is a key component of this team. Since the regular season is over and this week is district week and the Indians got a bye in the first round with being seeded first, how do you keep Jennings and the rest of the team focused for the rest of the season?”

Connaway noted that, keeping the team focused is really easy.

“I think that is mainly because they are hungry for a shot at a district title, and through the leadership of our three seniors.

In post season, having Jennings on the team has been a benefit this year.

“Carter has really stepped up his game this year,” he said. “He has had a few double-double games and his overall performance numbers are greatly improved,” adding that, “he has also become more of a leader in practice.”

These are a few of the reasons Carter was selected second team ALL-EMO! In his basketball career, Carter has received Most Improved Player in his sophomore and junior years.

Carter Jennings is not only a great basketball player, but is a member of the National Technical Honor Society and is a member of Skills USA District Welding Fabrication team and Skills USA State Welding Fabrication team. The Skills USA District Welding Fabrication team just placed second. This spring the Skills USA State Welding Fabrication team will compete at the state welding competition at State Tech in April 2024.