Chennedy Carter: Miss One and Done
As we all know in men’s college basketball freshmen can leave college early if they so choose and play basketball professionally. For instance, in last year’s draft 10 of the first 11 picks were freshmen. Going one and done is a big deal, it usually means you are regarded as one of the best players in the country, allowing you to make millions of dollars at the age of 18 to 19 years old. Well what about the ladies? Ladies, first right? Wrong. The WNBA has strict rules about who can be drafted early, including a requirement that each player be at least 22 years old during the calendar year of the draft. Which raises the question: Are there any freshman women basketball players that are talented enough to play professionally as a freshman?
Freshman guard Chennedy Carter out of Texas A&M certainly does. From her uncanny craftiness that helps her get to the basket to her Russell Westbrook like mentality that propels her game to another level, she has the talent to play professionally. To find a talent like Carter is very rare to do especially at such a young age. What is so impressive about Carter is how complete her overall game is. She can score anywhere on the floor at an elite level, possesses a very high basketball IQ which allows her to put her teammates in great situations to be successful. However, this shouldn’t surprise people, in high school Carter was ranked “the best guard in Texas” by the founder of the San Antonio finest AAU team Ray Caldwell. She also was named a McDonalds All-American, chosen to the Team USA select team twice, and ranked as the 6th best player in country per ESPN.
So far, this season she is leading the Aggies in scoring and assist with 21 PPG along 5 APG while shooting 47 percent from the field and a remarkable 41.9 percent from behind the arc. The ESPNW player of the week has scored in double figures every game this season and scored 46 points in a win against USC, which was the highest point a lady aggie has scored since Danielle Adams did it in 2011.
Carter is a do-it- all guard with extreme upside. However, as a player with so much talent and potential shouldn’t she have the choice to take her talents elsewhere and provide for herself better financially in the WNBA? Coach Caldwell said Carter said she “could be a one and done prospect” after she scored 30 points against the Texas Tech Lady Raiders back in November.
Women college basketball players should be able to leave college to pursue their dreams in the WNBA if they so choose, but on the other hand it is easy to see why they would opt to stay in college. For starters, they can build a brand for themselves which is key because WNBA players don’t make that much money. In fact, many of the women play overseas to earn extra money in the offseason. In last year’s draft, the top four picks made a little over $ 50,000 and must sign non-negotiable three-year deals. Many of these ladies would rather get a degree and enjoy the college life because although there is money overseas, it is rare that players fresh out of college make a lot of money in Asia or Europe.
If these talented ladies continue to develop their games and build brands for themselves during their college years, the WNBA viewership will continue to grow and could potentially start a trend of freshman entering the WNBA early.