Interview: Bulls’ Carter Jr. says he learned a lot at Pace

Bulls big man Wendell Carter Jr. is off to a fairly strong start in his rookie season.

INDIANAPOLIS — Wendell Carter Jr. was the No. 7 overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft and a high school sensation, yet the 19-year old center went to Pace Academy, a prestigious high school in the uptown district of Atlanta (Buckhead).

He could have gone to any prep school, stayed at his local high school, etc. Instead, he chose to go to a school known for good sports programs, but more so for its academics.

“It was more so of an academic thing I feel like,” Carter Jr. told Amico Hoops after the Bulls’ 96-90 loss to the Indiana Pacers.

Considering he also went to play collegiately at Duke, and Harvard was among the schools recruiting him, he took academics seriously. He’s a high-character kid.

His time at Pace Acadmey, a school in which the tuition for the average student is more than $25,000, was a learning experience outside of the classroom and the basketball court.

“It definitely expanded my social life,” Carter Jr. said. “My social point of view in life.”

Carter Jr. grew up in Atlanta, but a different part of the city of than where Pace Academy is located.

”I went from going to a school that was predominantly black to now a school that’s predominately white,” Carter Jr. said.

The rookie is posting strong averages of 11.4 points and 7.1 rebounds and was privy to people and things that he wouldn’t have been had he not attended the school. He learned a lot. 

“I just learned a lot of things; culturally, socially, and things like that,” Carter said.