Of all the big names in contemporary high school hoops, none are bigger than Aquille Carr. That's an incredible feat given that Carr is among -- if not the -- shortest high profile prep hoopster in top flight AAU and high school basketball.
In the last calendar year alone, Carr has received a stunning amount of national exposure. In May, Carr received a significant contract offer to play professional basketball in Italy, becoming the first American 16-year-old to be offered such an opportunity abroad. Three months later he withdrew -- then eventually competed in -- one of the nation's most elite summer basketball tournaments after it was rumored that he would be deemed ineligible to play in his junior season if he suited up at the event.
In August he was on the cover of DIME magazine, bumping Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, among others, to the back pages. By March he was the subject of a major feature in the Washington Post.
Through all of that, Carr has continued to do what he does best, dazzling on the court by hitting big shots and doling out otherworldly assists. Now, he's done something that no player of his meager 5-foot-7 stature should be able to achieve: He threw down a true poster dunk on top of a (much taller, obviously) defender. Fittingly, he did it during the biggest game of his squad's season to date; a Maryland 3A Regional Final matchup with Milford Mill.
Carr's dunk above was important beyond its ascetic appeal and symbolism for small point guards everywhere (if that doesn't make short hoops stars think they can do anything, we don't know what will). In fact, it (and the free throw that followed it) provided the winning margin for Carr's Baltimore (Md.) Patterson High, which edged out Milford Mill, 75-72, to reach the state semifinals.
Carr's poster dunk was a signature slam on its own merit; the mighty mite nicknamed "The Crimestopper" just elevated right above a defender who had the temerity to cut him off and assume his slam was blockable, just because Carr was shorter. Granted, it's the defender's job to challenge a shot like that, but the fact that Carr's slam made a mockery of that block attempt was still pretty stunning, given his height.
One might not be shocked to see a 5-foot-7 guard throw down an uncontested slam on a wide open fast break, particularly if he isn't facing a defensive chaser, but to elevate above a player in the way is pretty incredible to watch.
Of course, that's what people have come to expect from Carr, who has committed to play at Seton Hall. For a little more than a year to come, everyone will get to keep watching his on-court miniature Allen Iverson act, and there's nothing less than sheer pleasure that can come from that … assuming you're not one of the defenders trying to find a way to slow him down.