At age 39, UNC alum Vince Carter shows he still has gas left in the tank
Vince Carter left the University of North Carolina in 1998 after his junior season in Chapel Hill. He was selected fifth overall in the 1998 NBA Draft and is one of only three players from said draft class that is still in the league.
Carter immediately hit stardom with the high-flying dunks and sensational scoring ability he displayed as a member of the Toronto Raptors. Internationally recognized for his highlight reel play, Carter became a household name and basketball icon very early in his career.
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In 1999, Carter was the NBA’s Rookie of the year and a member of the NBA All-Rookie first team. A year later, he won the NBA Slam Dunk Competition, which ultimately propelled him to international stardom.
In case you’ve been living in a cave or stumbled upon this article by mistake, here’s what that dunk contest looked like some 16 years ago:
24,073 points later, he’s fourth in active career scoring behind Dirk Nowitzki, LeBron James and Paul Pierce. He’s an eight-time All-Star and won a gold medal at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
And after 19 seasons with six teams, nearly every player that joined the league when he did is now gone. Carter though, along with Nowitzki and Pierce, is hanging on for just a little bit longer.
Carter, like his counterparts, continues to prove that they still have something to bring to the table for their respective teams.
On Monday night, Carter scored 20 points off the Memphis Grizzlies’ bench, breaking a 13-year-old record previously held by Michael Jordan.
When Carter scored 20 points, he became the oldest player in league history to do so off the bench. He did it on 6-of-11 shooting, hitting three of his five attempts from long-range and knocking down 5-of-6 from the free-throw line.
And it was no fluke.
Carter’s last three games have been much of the same, averaging 19 points, 3.6 rebounds & three assists. In those contests, he’s shooting 60 percent from the floor and 41 percent from three-point range.
In his 19th season, he’s averaging 10.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game.
And while his time in the NBA may be coming to an end, he’s still providing major contributions for a Memphis Grizzlies team that’ll compete for a playoff spot in the Western Conference.