A rare thing occurred late Thursday night. I’m ashamed to admit I was already fast asleep. When it comes to Penn State, that hasn’t happened in 20 years. Despite the endless months of doubt and plenty of finger-wagging on our part, former point guard and reigning NIT Champ, Tony Carr, took center stage in New York City (the same stage on which he cut those NIT nets down) as one of the NBA’s draft picks. He was the 51st pick in the middle of the 2nd round and now finds himself the newest member of the New Orleans Pelicans. After all the negative chatter I’ve heard that he, “should’ve stayed in school,” or that he, “was given poor advice,” I’m here to tell you all, dreams really do come true and Tony Carr is now our living proof.
Trust me, I get the gist of the conversation. If Trace McSorley is considered The Wizard of the gridiron, then Tony Carr is nothing short of a magician on the hardcourt. He was masterful at times running the point. We all wanted him to stay another year and help lead Penn State on a serious run during next year’s March Madness, much like we all wanted Saquon to take another shot at the playoffs. But, who are we to hold one of our own back from pursuing his dream? As it turns out, we were all wrong and just being selfish, even if it was with his best intentions in mind. The rest is now up to Tony, but he took to the stage Thursday night in the Big Apple and became the first Nittany Lion drafted in the NBA since Calvin Booth in 1998.
All we have left now are the memories. That million-watt smile and the “Philly-swagger” as he so famously put it. Nobody will ever forget the way he stuck a dagger in the Buckeyes, not once, not twice, but three times in a row. If Superman fell to kryptonite, Ohio State had to contend with Tony Carr and that in and of itself will forever cement his legacy in Blue and White. Consider them one fan-base counting their lucky stars he’s moved on to the next level. As for us back home in Happy Valley, Pat Chambers and his B-Ball squad keep on climbing. They may be a man down, but new faces dot the landscape and they’re eager to fill the gaping hole left behind by Tony Carr. Lamar Stevens, Josh Reaves, Mike Watkins and crew return on a mission to prove the NIT was no fluke and Coach Chambers has another feather in his cap to sell incoming recruits. Dreams really DO come true, and we have Tony Carr to thank today for the reminder!