The No. 6 ranked player in the class of 2006 Derrick Caracter could not play with his St. Patricks High School team out of Elizabeth, N.J., at the Beach Ball Classic because of a one semester suspension after transferring to the school. The 6-foot-9, 301-pound power forward will hit the court January 6 for the Celtics, and he realizes he has a chance to follow in the steps of former St. Patricks great Al Harrington and bypass college for a career in the NBA.
"I'm undecided on college, but the NBA is always in the back of my mind," said Caracter at the Beach Ball Classic. "Right now, Florida State, North Carolina, Stanford and St. John's are recruiting me the hardest, and those four schools are my top schools."
Although the jump straight to the NBA is in the back of his mind and a distinct possibility, Caracter is well aware of the positives in attending college.
"Everybody in my family has gone to college, and they all want me to go," he said. "I would love to be the big man on campus and enjoy college life for a while."
The well spoken Caracter certainly has the mind for college. He carries a 2.7 GPA and a 920 score on the SAT but was adamant that both of these numbers will improve.
As to what it will take for this extremely skilled big man to be successful in the NBA, Caracter had a quick and precise answer.
"My defense on the perimeter needs to improve," he said. "Right now I am more of a power player."