Boys Basketball

Why this Bell hoops player is called 'Mr. President.' It's not just his ambitions

Oland Carter grabs a rebound in recent action.
Oland Carter grabs a rebound in recent action. Courtesy

Hurst L.D. Bell basketball player Oland Carter has the nickname "Mr. President," because some of his friends say he resembles former President Barack Obama.

And just like the 44th Commander-In-Chief of the United States, the senior has big plans for his life. Heck, he might even run for office himself some day.

"I really have thought about going into politics," Carter said. "It looks interesting. But first I want to get a bachelor of arts in economics, and then go to grad school."

But not just any bachelors degree, and not just any grad school. Carter has his sights set on the Ivy League, and in particular Harvard University.

"Harvard is my first choice. I got to tour the campus in August, and I really enjoyed the people and the area," he said. "A lot of schools intersect out there, and I got to meet some kids from Cambridge and Boston University."

There's also MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), which Carter is also smart enough to get into. Ranked fourth in his class at Bell, getting into pretty much any college he wants is no problem.

"I also went to Brown for a basketball camp and had a great time, and nothing against Brown or any other school, but I'd just visited Harvard, and there's really no place more special," he said.

Ironically, though, Carter is not involved in student government at Bell. The student council meets after school, and, well, that's when the Blue Raiders practice.

"I'd be on the student council, but I wouldn't be able to make the meetings, so what's the point?" he said.

No problem. He has plenty of extracurricular activities to keep him busy. He's the school president of the National Honor Society, a member of Mu Alpha Theta math club, and in the chess club.

And, of course, he plays basketball. This is the 6-4 forward's second full season on the varsity, along with playing a half dozen games his sophomore season.

He believes his intelligence and success with academics also helps him on the basketball court.

"I think it makes me a better decision maker, but most of doing good is common sense when you think about it," he said.

He comes from a basketball family. His father played in college, his sister played in junior high, and his grandfather even dabbled at the sport professionally, Carter said.

"He retired because my dad was on the way," Carter said.

Carter began playing at age 3. He also loves soccer, but had to choose in high school because they overlap. Raiders head coach Brock Pembleton is glad he made the choice to play for his team.

"Oland is the calming factor on our team. He knows what needs to be done and just plays steady the whole game," Pembleton said. "In academics and in basketball he knows success only comes from putting in the time and the work. His drive and work ethic will allow him to be successful in any field he chooses."

Carter is uncertain whether he will try to play in college.

"Not as much as I wanted to before, but we'll see," he said. "I'm thinking it'd be best to focus on academics and prepare for the future. There's a lot I want to experiment with."

But then, like his look-alike, he can always have a basketball hoop at the White House.

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