Happy 30th, Luther Head!
Illini Legends, Lists & Lore: Warren Carter
Nov. 25 was a productive day for Warren Carter during his Illini basketball career.
In 2005, Carter hit the winning layup with one second left to give No. 15 Illinois a 55-54 victory against Wichita State at the South Padre Island Invitational. One year later, he scored a career-high 17 points as the unbeaten Illini defeated previously perfect Bradley 75-71.
Carter came to Champaign-Urbana from Lake Highlands High School in Dallas, where he twice won all-state honors. A freshman in 2003-04, he played as a reserve in 17 games. When the top-ranked Illini rolled through their memorable 2004-05 season, Carter was a backup to James Augustine and averaged 2.2 points per game. His playing time increased as a junior, highlighted by a 12-point effort in Illinois’ first-round NCAA game against Air Force. After injuries to Brian Randle and Jamar Smith, Carter was placed into a starting role in the UI’s 2006-07 lineup that primarily consisted of Randle, Shaun Pruitt, Rich McBride and Chester Frazier. The ‘06-07 Illini compiled a 23-12 record but lost in the opening round of the NCAA tournament to Virginia Tech. Carter had career-best averages of 13.7 points and 6.1 rebounds, dealing out 68 assists and blocking 32 shots. He was awarded the Big Ten Medal of Honor, given annually to a senior who demonstrates proficiency in scholarship and athletics. Carter’s first two professional seasons were played in Turkey and Spain.
He landed a roster spot in the 2009 NBA Summer League with the New York Knicks but was waived by the team in late October. He spent the remainder of that season in Greece, averaging 13 points and seven rebounds per game. He played in the 2010 Greek All-Star Game. In 2010-11, he played in Israel, then in Belgium the following season. The 6-foot-9, 220-pound Carter currently plays in Turkey.
Sunday: Troy Pollard, football (24)
Monday: Luther Head, basketball (30)
Tuesday: Jason Guard, football (45)
Wednesday: Ken Zimmerman, football (71)
Thursday: Sarah Aberle, soccer (35)
Friday: Kendrick Jones, football (30)
Saturday: D.A. Points, golf (36)
By Mike Pearson, author of Illini Legends, Lists & Lore and assistant athletic director at Miami (Ohio)
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