Rostock basketball pro Chris Carter publishes book in English and German

Chris Carter doesn’t trust European barbers.

“I love my waves; I want my hair cut a certain way,” Carter, a Port St. Lucie native and Florida Tech alumnus, said in a WhatsApp call from his home in Rostock, Germany. “I don’t want anyone to try anything new. If I’m the only American, let alone Black, you’ve ever seen, it could go really wrong.

After living a year in Ukraine and now six in Germany, as a professional basketball player, it was “a lot of trial and error” for Carter – a 6’3″ point guard for the Rostock Seawolves – to looking for the perfect haircut.

“I found a Turkish barber,” Carter said. “I finally received [good] haircuts here.

Bad hair day after day gave him his signature look on the court: a large athletic headband personalized with the word “PGLingo” – short for point guard language – inscribed.

“That became my statement,” Carter said. “I didn’t think about it until the kids started coming up to me [with headbands on] ask to take pictures with me.

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The lesson for Carter, 30, who only recently started speaking German and taking German lessons, is the universality of his sport.

“Basketball is a game played all over the world,” Carter said. “You can communicate, play and have fun, without ever having to speak the same language. Basketball is its own language.

The children’s reaction to his blindfold led Carter to a second career path: moonlighting as a children’s book author.

“I don’t just want to play basketball and when my career is over, that’s it,” Carter said. “I wanted to have something to show for what I did in Germany and in Europe.”

Last December, Carter began writing “Ivy,” a 45-page book, which tells the story of Ivy Parker, a sixth-grade girl, unexpectedly uprooted from her home in Port St. Lucie when her father accepts a job at the Embassy in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Carter described the book as an almost retelling of the 2002 film “Like Mike.”

“I was interested in the idea of ​​the children’s book because I connect well with children [here],” he said.

The book writing process began with a monologue and a chapter outline. Carter then hired a self-publishing company in Houston, Texas, which helped polish and edit the rest of the story.

Balancing the demands of professional basketball and writing, Carter said, “I just grind a little each day — 30 minutes or an hour. There were many late nights and early mornings.

On June 16, just weeks after winning a championship, the book was published in English and German, becoming available on Amazon.

“I still can’t believe it when I look at Amazon,” Carter said. “Even if it’s not selling well, I can say ‘hey, I’ve done something for myself that shows the fans and my people back home, anything really is possible.'”

A big year for Carter.

“I won a championship; learned German; passed a citizenship test; got engaged; wrote a book in two languages,” he said. “I never wanted to be one of those guys who says they want to do something and never act on it.”

“I’m not at all surprised by the book,” added Keith Wright, a former Carter’s Rostock teammate. “One thing I’ve learned about Chris is that he will always go with what he decides. A lot of players just focus on the hoop aspect when they’re away. Chris n not only learned the language, he wrote a book for children in the country he played in. I feel lucky to be able to call him a friend.

Port Saint Lucie native Chris Carter

The theme of “Ivy” is perseverance; navigate strange and scary new experiences. For Carter, it’s now almost second nature.

“I’m telling his story – but if you read it, you’ll quickly realize it’s two versions of me,” Carter said. “I was just using my imagination to figure out what it would be like to live with me as a kid and I’m your father.”

At age 12, Carter was uprooted from his home in Brooklyn to South Florida, along with his younger brother and mother – his father remained in New York.

“My mom and dad broke up,” Carter recalled. “My relationship with my father suffered. In the book, I wrote to the father how I would like to be, instead of what happened with me.

Her resilience grew further after spending two years at the United States Air Force Academy, before transferring to FIT and living nearly year-round as an adult, overseas in foreign cultures. surrounded by languages ​​he did not understand.

“I was the only American on my team in Ukraine,” Carter said. “During downtime, my coach speaks pure Russian – I asked an interpreter to tell me what I was doing. My best friend in the team was 16, because he was the only one who spoke English. He told me took her to the grocery store. Because everything is [written] in Cyrillic I would buy butter to make eggs and that would be cream cheese.

Carter said he plans to play another four to five years of professional basketball and then eventually pursue a coaching role. Like the father in “Ivy”, he hopes to one day find a job at the American Embassy in Germany.

Until then, one thing will remain a constant:

“I always wear my headband,” Carter said with a laugh.

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