Freshman guard Kanaan Carlyle doesn’t want to speak quite a bit to make his presence identified on the courtroom. With a easy between-the-legs dribble, he makes defenders instinctively shuffle their toes backward. In simply two laborious dribbles, the six-foot-three guard can discover himself on the rim, hovering over defenders for a dunk.
That is nothing new for his longtime coach, Korey Harris, who has identified Carlyle for no less than a decade now.
“Kanaan can have you scratching your head typically like, “Did he simply do this?!,” Harris wrote. “From his acrobatic finishes to his capability to search out the tightest gaps throughout the protection and throw darts to his teammates, Kanaan is the definition of a participant that flirts with the razor’s edge.”
However past his noteworthy athleticism, which embody a 40-inch vertical and velocity to kill for, Carlyle possesses a mindset that’s uncommon for gamers of his caliber.
“It takes a particular individual to actually not care what others assume and be prepared to play carefree, particularly on a number of the largest phases,” Harris wrote. “Kanaan has that degree of self-confidence.”
This fearless mindset was additionally evident in his recruiting. The freshman guard from Atlanta had gives from a number of the high basketball packages within the nation, together with Baylor, Alabama, Auburn and Tennessee. However somewhat than selecting a type of faculties, Carlyle determined to forge his personal path and attend Stanford — 2,481 miles away from his hometown.
The Georgia product is conscious that his determination could puzzle outsiders.
“I really feel like Stanford is a unique determination than what most gamers would make,” Carlyle mentioned. “They might go to Baylor or Auburn, however to me I really feel like I’m totally different. What I made was a unique determination.”
It wasn’t Stanford’s athletic services or fan help that drew him. Moderately, Carlyle was impressed by the dedication displayed by the scholars on his go to to campus.
“I actually favored how formidable everybody on Stanford’s campus gave the impression to be,” Carlyle instructed the San Francisco Chronicle. “Simply strolling round throughout my go to, everybody was finding out. You may inform how goal-oriented they had been. I used to be like, ‘I need to be part of that.’”
Those that have labored intently with Carlyle perceive that his mindset is totally different from different basketball stars his age.
Recalling an previous encounter with Carlyle, Harris wrote, “I knew Kanaan was totally different after I met him over 10 years in the past.” Harris was introduced in as a visitor speaker for elementary college gamers at a neighborhood health club.
“He was the one child to ask questions. The truth is he requested so many questions that one of many coaches needed to minimize him off simply so we may end on time!” he wrote.
For Harris, this curiosity is what units Carlyle other than different athletes.
“He’s distinctive as a result of most gamers which are fearless rivals additionally battle with an uncontrolled ego or a fear in direction of criticism,” Harris wrote. “Kanaan isn’t like most. He desires to study.”
Carlyle’s inquisitive and impressive mindset doesn’t simply apply to basketball. He additionally plans to review enterprise at Stanford and to develop into an entrepreneur after his basketball profession ends.
“I’ll most likely examine enterprise, hopefully I’ll go to the league so I gotta find out how to have the ability to deal with my very own cash,” Carlyle mentioned in an interview with Professional Perception. “I need to construct up my enterprise someday after basketball.”
After spending his first three years of highschool at Milton Excessive College, 45 minutes from Atlanta, the six-foot-three guard needed to expedite his basketball growth even additional. When trying into various choices for his final yr of college, the athletic combo guard was intrigued by the choice to play at Additional time Elite, particularly when league officers instructed him that he may forfeit the wage and never sacrifice faculty eligibility.
Ultimately, Carlyle determined to hitch the upstart skilled basketball league, which has develop into a preferred various to varsity basketball. The league allowed Carlyle to get expertise enjoying in opposition to one of the best 16-to-20 yr previous basketball expertise nationally, whereas additionally giving him the chance to work out with high coaches and trainers.
Regardless of a chance to receives a commission a hefty six-figure wage and begin his skilled profession early, Carlyle remained agency in his dedication to the Cardinal, exhibiting how a lot he needed to attend college on the Farm — for its alternatives on and off the courtroom.
“My dad and mom needed me to go to varsity and I needed to go to varsity, so it was by no means actually in consideration to go the professional route via OTE,” Carlyle mentioned. “However total I’m glad I went there. I discovered quite a bit from everybody who was there and it was wonderful for my growth.”
Popping out of highschool, the dynamic guard has been praised by scouts for his tight deal with, shot-creation and disruptive protection. However in his fixed try to enhance, Carlyle mentioned he has targeted on “turning into extra environment friendly and increasing my vary out to the faculty three-point line” this pre-season.
Stanford’s teaching workers has been impressed by Carlyle’s growth since he’s gotten on campus
“He had an especially productive summer season and has constantly improved because the day we began summer season exercises,” mentioned assistant basketball coach David Berkun. “His pure capability, athleticism and basketball instincts actually stand out, and these traits will instantly translate to the faculty sport.”
Whereas the Atlanta guard’s dedication to his growth on and off the courtroom is clear, he might want to discover the mandatory resolve for the distinct problem that lays forward of him. Whereas different high gamers in his highschool class need to assist packages which have had a historical past of current success, Carlyle is trying to resurrect a program that hasn’t made the NCAA event since 2014.
“I need to be totally different,” Carlyle instructed the SF Chronicle. “I need to get Stanford again to the [NCAA] Event.”