Aquille Carr is one of the nation's most exciting and talented young basketball players. Aged 18, Carr has already turned heads while touring internationally, received a stunning $650,000 professional contract offer from an Italian team, landed on the cover of DIME magazine and almost single-handedly led his team to a state title.
Yet Carr's long journey to future national hoops stardom took a fascinating twist on Monday, when the junior withdrew from Baltimore (Md.) Patterson High, the only school he has known, and enrolled in Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick's School. While that might normally seen like a simple decision by Carr to move on to brighter basketball pastures, that isn't the case with St. Patrick's for an extremely clear-cut reason: St. Patrick's won't even exist when Carr is a senior.
As covered in detail by the Baltimore Sun, Carr's transfer to St. Patrick's is destined to be a very short term affair. Given the fact that the Seton Hall-commit only began at the school on March 26, he's essentially taking a three-month tour of courses to try and improve his chances of academically qualifying to play with the Pirates. The teen admitted that he was headed to St. Patrick's because it offered more "core classes" than Patterson, which speaks to his concern about his future eligibility.
While Carr is not the first to try that tactic, he almost certainly is the first to try it at a school that everyone knows will close imminently. Usually such a transfer would come with the promise of a future basketball campaign.
That certainly would have been the case in the past at St. Patrick's, which has hosted a handful of top national recruits -- Kyrie Irving and Samuel Dalembert come to mind -- when legendary coach Kevin Boyle led the program before his high profile departure to Florida school Montverde Academy.
Now the school is preparing to shut its doors in a matter of months, just as one of the nation's top players is walking in. There's no reason why doing so would necessarily be any kind of a NCAA violation, but it sure raises plenty of questions about the lengths to which Carr is going to try and get an edge on academically qualifying for the NCAA.
While he did little to specifically clear up why he left Baltimore now, Carr told the Sun that he planned to return to Baltimore for his senior season, a claim which runs counter to rumors in recent weeks that he could be headed to one of the nation's premier hoops academies, likely Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep or Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Academy.
No matter where he heads next, Carr's resume will now have a fascinating blip on it from his time in the shadow of the school he hopes to eventually attend.