The life of the party

November 24, 2018

UNION MILLS — When the South Central boys basketball team needs some comic relief, it turns to sophomore funny man Brendan Carr.

“I’m really good at dancing in the locker room,” the Satellites center said.

As if the image of the 6-foot-7, 240-pound Carr groovin’ and movin’ isn’t enough, that’s just a part of his variety show routine. About five years ago, he and his siblings created a YouTube channel, Carrfong5, on which they documented themselves singing and generally acting crazy.

“You can see Brendan’s personality back then and now it’s the same,” S.C. coach Joe Wagner said. “He’s hilarious and is always saying something to make people laugh. He’s the type of kid that other kids want to be around.”

The bigger question for Wagner will be, can Carr keep him smiling while he’s on the court this season?

“Coach always yells at me for being too nice on the court,” Carr said. “He tells me to flip the switch and be mean.”

It’s not inherently in Carr’s nature to be that way, but he knows he’s got to put on the proverbial game face if he’s going to produce at the level he can and the inexperienced Satellites need him to this season.

“He’s just learning to flip the switch between nice, funny Brendan and I’m going to get down to business Brendan,” Wagner said.

A post player since his YMCA ball days, Carr sprouted about four inches to reach 6-foot in seventh grade and grew another three inches the following year. The sudden ascent forced the family to buy a Queen size bed to accommodate his longer legs. He recently got his license and drives a Tahoe. The height spurt also resulted in a clunky period where Carr’s coordination lagged behind his stature.

“Eighth grade, I fell a lot on the court,” he said.

Carr matured out of his awkward phase last year, averaging about 16 points per game on the JV level as a 6-5 ninth grader and logged productive minutes in the Satelltes’ sectional loss.

“He can use both hands,” Wagner said. “He can actually step out and knock down open jumpers. He’s got work to do defensively at times, learning how to take angles. He has to keep people in front of him. He can’t play them laterally. That’s a battle he’s not going to win. He can’t commit a lot of dumb fouls. He does a solid job of walling off. As he drops some pounds and gets into basketball shape, it’ll help his quickness and he’ll be able to guard people off the bounce.”

Undoubtedly one of the tallest football centers in the state, Carr learned from his experience on the grass and thinks it will serve him well on the hard wood.

“Being on the (offensive) line, you’ve got to be in the trenches,” he said. “In the paint, I’m going to use my body more than people who don’t play football.”

Summer ball with the Indiana Dawgz AAU program also provided Carr with the chance to ease his transition to the varsity level by facing much better competition.

“I’m guessing that’s what varsity basketball’s going to be like,” he said. “I got used to running the floor. The game’s a lot faster, the guys are a lot bigger than they were on JV. I can’t not box out and still get rebounds anymore.”

Carr’s excited about the season and has set a high bar for himself, expecting to average a double-double of points and rebounds and score in the range of 15 a game. Wagner’s not ready to go that far just yet, but is anxious about Carr’s potential.

“I’m excited to see his progress over the next few years,” Wagner said, “because he has some tools to build on and is only going to get better and better.”

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