Carter Jensen is living his dream after accepting a Student/Athlete position at Iowa Wesleyan University.
A late starter to basketball at the age of 14, Carter quickly found his feet in a landscape dominated by skilled players who had been playing since they were 5 years old.
Carter’s persistence in improving every day to fulfil his dream was exemplified by training or playing 7 days a week, as nothing was going to get in his way of being a student athlete in the American College basketball system.
Getting into the College system requires you to be as strong academically as you are in your chosen sport. Carter spent countless hours studying to ensure his grades were going to be up to scratch.
Carter recently gave up some time to answer some questions.
How did Somerset College prepare you to reach this goal?
Somerset was huge in helping me to prepare for this step, but the school was also huge in helping me to believe that I was capable of getting to this point. I moved here in year six and at that point wasn’t really super involved in sports other than hockey. I started playing basketball during the summer season of year eight and began playing in the Opens team in year nine. So to even be given the opportunity to play in the Opens at that age was a big help in my preparation and being more involved in sports was something that helped me tremendously.
Who are influential in reaching you goal?
A whole bunch of people were influential in getting me to this point, of course my parents were really involved, teachers such as Mr Gazal, Mrs Framp, Mr Bassingthwaite and a whole number of other teachers who I could spend all day naming. Of course I’d have to say the Somerset Sport Department, including Sam Whish-Wilson for being an amazing head coach as well. But I also wouldn't have made it to here without the help of my best friends as well as coaches from outside of school, in particular Carl Forbes and Chris Smith who I promised myself I would mention because I don’t think coaches get enough credit for the work they do with young men. All of these people helped keep me on the right path and kept me focused on achieving my dream.
What is your advice for younger students of Somerset College?
My advice to younger student athletes at Somerset would definitely be to just keep working hard and putting the hours in both in the classroom and on the court. There are times when the sport won’t seem as fun anymore and you may not be able to do a lot of the other fun things that your friends are inviting you to be involved in, but that’s a part of the process and a sacrifice that you need to be willing to make if you want to keep getting better. I think the one other big piece of advice I could give and it’s something I really struggle with at times, is to remember that basketball and any other sport is just a game and not put too much pressure on yourself but still recognise the importance of what this game could give you in terms of your future.
How important is academic side of this in being a college basketball athlete?
Academics is a huge part of being a collegiate athlete. Some athletes, in whatever sport they play, think they can just play and schools will give them offers and let them play straight away which is a massive misconception in Australia. This definitely isn’t the case because you could be the best player at whatever sport you’re doing, but if you're academically ineligible, then it doesn’t matter how good you are, you won't be able to play. It’s not even the coaches decision, it is the actual rules of, in my case, the NCAA. So overall, your academic performance is extremely important and honestly, it actually betters you as a person and an athlete, and makes you more disciplined. This is something that I really appreciate and try to communicate to any athlete.
What makes you want to coach basketball at Somerset College?
I really enjoy participating in coaching at Somerset mainly because it allows me to have an impact in young boys lives and also it allows me to role model for them. It’s an awesome feeling to know that I can help these boys find what they want to do in their life as well as to enjoy the game of basketball and help them with situations that I have also been through myself. The two teams I’m currently coaching are all brilliant young men and are all really easy to work with which makes it an absolute pleasure to be a part of their lives and coach at Somerset College.
With many aspiring basketball players at the Somerset College Carter Jensen may pave the way for a number of Spartans to play College sport in America.
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