'Jet' Terry Protege Chennedy Carter To WNBA: 'Hollywood' Time
DALLAS - When reached by phone the morning of arguably the biggest night of her life, Chennedy Carter described herself as “excited'' and ready.''
Hours later the WNBA Draft agreed with her. Carter, the spectacular 5-7 guard out of Mansfield Timberview and Texas A&M – and one of the most dynamic scorers in college basketball – went No. 4 overall to the Atlanta Dream.
Carter, who goes by the nickname “Hollywood,” is A&M’s highest draft selection in the program’s history. There have been 13 Texas A&M players selected in the history of the WNBA Draft, with Kelsey Bone being the highest pick at No. 5 in the 2013 Draft by the New York Liberty.
Chennedy (pronounced "Kennedy'') Carter also has basketball in her bloodlines so it’s natural she would end up going pro. Her second cousin is former WNBA All-Star Jia Perkins, a champion with the Lynx in 2017, and her godfather is longtime NBA guard Jason Terry, who won a championship with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011.
“I’ve been blessed to see Chennedy grow into an amazing woman and ball player,” Terry told DallasBasketball.com. “Her dynamic skill set and electric personality will make her a star in the WNBA and the face of women’s basketball.
“Chennedy,'' Jet said, "will inspire young women to become the best versions of themselves and to strive for their dreams.''
Carter’s selection was met with great enthusiasm around the nation, including from basketball stars Trae Young and Jaren Jackson Jr, former NBA star Baron Davis, and maybe surprisingly, hip-hop star Lil’ Wayne.
Speaking to the media via phone after the draft, Chennedy expressed her enthusiasm and excitement about her drafting.
“I’m very excited. Ready to get to work, get to practice, get going and start my WNBA career,” she said. “I'm just excited to see what this journey and season has in store for me.”
Partaking in that enthusiasm are Carter’s mom, Shonda Perkins, and Kit Kyle Martin, the 2019 Wilson Sporting Goods/WBCA High School National Coach of the Year and Carter’s high school coach.
“This opportunity to play at the highest level of her craft, in the WNBA, is a dream come true not only for Chennedy, but for everyone who’s had the opportunity to be involved in her burgeoning career,” Martin told DBcom. “She is the type of player and personality that can make an indelible mark on the game.”
Perkins, who raised her only daughter in a house full of boys brothers - 25-year-old Cameron, 23-year-old Chandler and 16-year-old Chendall - is still on cloud nine from hearing her daughter’s name called.
“If you guys only knew what it is like being the mom of Chennedy Carter, aka 'Hollywood,” Perkins said. “I am truly blessed to have been able to watch my only daughter focus on her goals and achieve them.
“It is ironic that she is going to the Atlanta Dream because she is living proof that hard work pays off. Never stop chasing your dreams!”
Carter, who had one year of eligibility left, finished her Texas A&M career with 1,983 total points – just seven points shy of being the top scorer in the program’s history. She holds the Texas A&M record for most 20-point games (62) and 30-point games (13), while also ranking in the top six in field goals made (732, third), 3-pointers made (148, sixth) and free throws made (371, 3rd).
Carter, talking to the media after her selection, discussed going to the ATL, lessons learned from playing in College Station, staying in shape during COVID-19 stay-at-home orders and more.
Q. Is there one thing in particular that you'll take with you that you learned from (Head Coach) Gary Blair and the staff at A&M that you think can help you in the WNBA?
Carter: One thing I can take from A&M is just the support from everyone there, the 12th Man to my teammates to everyone who put their hands in to the women's basketball group. I learned a lot from going there, and it'll be useful to me the whole way.
Q. How much time have you spent in Atlanta, and what are your thoughts about playing in that city?
Carter: I've been to Atlanta a couple of times. Definitely it brings me back to the AAU road trip days when me and my team would compete and play against some of the best players in the country. I'm just really excited. I know it's a big city. I know there are a lot of things to do there, but I'm really focused on winning a championship and getting to work with my teammates.
Q. What have you done to get ready for the draft and go into the WNBA?
Carter: The biggest thing for me is just staying in shape. That's one of the biggest things I'm working on right now. Just making sure that I'm conditioned. I can perform at the highest level and not get tired. That's one of the things I do. I do a lot of jogging, a lot of running workouts. And then outside of basketball, I just try and stay in shape.
I look at the time I put in, the work and the confidence behind all the closed doors. What people don't see is I work very, very hard on my game, so I'm confident in anything that I do. It starts from there.
Q. Just the fit in Atlanta, when this team seems to have a lot of pieces, whether it's Courtney Williams, Shekinna Stricklen, players that are going to be enhanced by the type of play-maker that you are, coming in it seemed like Atlanta was the best on court fit for you, and I wondering if you saw it that way and do you still see it that way now?
Carter: I definitely think that this is the best fit for me. I think I'm going to go to the team and really just lead and find those players, find Courtney Williams, find Kalani Brown, and I think it'll be a successful year for me and the Atlanta Dream.