Griffins add another U.K. player, welcoming Jay Carter

Reading, England product Jay Carter will bring a versatile skill-set to the Griffins, including a big-time three-point shot (Handout).
Reading, England product Jay Carter will bring a versatile skill-set to the Griffins, including a big-time three-point shot (Handout).

Jefferson Hagen / MacEwan Athletics

It's fair to say the MacEwan Griffins have a burgeoning recruiting pipeline to England.

A year after bringing in Jake Notice out of the British Basketball League, head coach Eric Magdanz announced Wednesday that U.K. national Jay Carter will be joining the Griffins this fall.

"We've developed some connections in the U.K. in our time getting Jake over here," explained Magdanz. "Canada's become quite a hotspot for a lot of international players to come to due to some changes in NCAA availability and also getting five years of eligibility in Canada. 

"Generally, our academic system is pretty top notch. With all those things, Canada's become a destination of choice for international athletes and for a lot of U.K. athletes."

Carter is coming to the Griffins right out of high school, but he's been playing high-level hoops for the Reading Rockets of the English Basketball League Div. 1.

"He's a remarkable three-point shooter," said Magdanz of Carter, who shot 53 per cent from behind the arc this past season, while averaging 15 points per game for the Rockets. "If he were to self-identify, he'd identify as a shooting guard, but really in our system he has an opportunity to play a lot of different positions. 

"He's still slender in being a 6-foot-6 18 year old. He's got some physical development that will happen over the next couple of years that will allow him to even play more positions. But he's a guy who, hopefully over the course of his career here can learn to play inside and out, and can be an offensive threat in a variety of ways."

Boasting a 6-foot-10 wingspan, Carter will likely fit in on the wing for MacEwan, but like many recent Magdanz recruits, he has the versatility to play all over the court.

"He just goes down the same path where we're trying to get longer and more athletic," said Magdanz. "Something he adds that will be unique to him is his length and his ability to shoot."

Carter joins Ben Niles, Moreau Amadou, Lincoln Anderson, Luke Harold and Dustin Gatzki amongst MacEwan's promising 2017-18 recruiting class that looks to fill the shoes of five departing seniors from the program.

Carter, who has international experience representing England at the U15 level and has been in the national team development program since the U14 level, will look to make an impact in Canada, as British basketball continues to blossom.

"Similar to Canada, they're really an up and coming nation in basketball," said Magdanz. "It's sort of an untapped market right now. A lot of those athletes are looking for places to go and their academic system doesn't combine athletics and academics after high school. 

"For anybody who is academically inclined but isn't ready to give up basketball, they're looking for other options."