If you haven’t heard the name Carson McCorkle already, you will soon.
A trim 6’2” guard that might appear slighter than the 170 pounds he’s listed it, there has been a time opponents may have overlooked him.
That time is done.
Holding offers from Duke, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio State, and Florida among many others, McCorkle is an electric talent from the 2021 class that will be one of the biggest names in recruiting as analysts move towards that year. A fire starter on offense who is dominating his age group with his breakneck speed with the ball in his hands and a willingness to get to the dirty areas of the floor to grab a rebound and finish through traffic. Dangerous when initiating offense or as a player who can catch and shoot or grab and go from the wing, don’t be shocked to see him at the top of 2021 recruiting rankings sooner than later. McCorkle was gracious enough to give me some time to talk about his game and his Florida offer before a busy week at the Adidas Gauntlet Summer Championships.
EF: Hey Carson! I know you were travelling to LA today so first of all, thanks for fitting me into your schedule! What are you up to in California?
CM: I am playing in the Adidas Gauntlet Summer Championships. Thanks for taking time to talk.
EF: That’s a great place to have that event. Can you tell everyone who you play for and also where you play your high school ball?
CM: I play for Garner Road West coached by David West and I play high school ball at Greensboro Day School.
EF: Another team you’ve gotten to play for is Team USA having been identified as one of the best Americans in your age group. What was it like to be one of the players chosen by the most powerful international basketball organization in the world and what has your experience been like with USA Basketball?
CM: It was the best feeling in the world to be selected for that team. I was honored and I will never take it lightly. My experience has been awesome and I have gotten to learn a lot and see a lot while playing with Team USA.
EF: One of the things you’ve been involved with when it comes to USA Basketball is some 3 on 3 tournaments. How do you have to adjust your game from normal basketball to 3 on 3 and do you see yourself playing more 3 on 3, a game rapidly growing in popularity and potentially becoming an Olympic sport, in the future?
CM: I really had to become a faster player while thinking at the same speed. The game is very physical and a hard nosed game so being used to contact is something you have to get used to.
EF: Having watched a ton of FIBA 3X3 events, I can totally confirm your comment on the game being more physical, and that 12-second shot clock goes FAST (laughs). Speaking of your game, can you describe how you play to people who maybe haven’t had the chance to see you yet?
CM: When you first look at me I look like I don’t even play basketball. But I have a very fast game in transition and am very athletic. I can shoot the ball well and can get hot very fast. I have become a better defender and am very competitive.
EF: (laughs) It must feel extra special to embarrass someone on the court who didn’t take you seriously enough based on how you look. Is there an NBA player you might compare your game to?
CM: I don’t like to compare myself to people if you know what I mean, but I get Larry Bird a lot (laughs). To be honest I don’t really know because I never pay attention to that.
EF: (laughs) I’d say that’s a pretty good comparison to get! Though I think, relatively speaking, you’re way more athletic (laughs). Not a lot of recruiting outlets have their 2021 rankings figured out yet but when that time comes you are going to be right at the top, maybe even number one. Does not wanting to compare yourself to other people extend to how you feel about rankings or is getting that number one spot or something close to it something you are going to want?
CM: I honestly do not care about rankings if I’m being honest with you. I think it’s cool and all but me getting ranked isn’t why I play the game. I want to play in college at the highest level and then go to the NBA.
EF: That’s a great attitude to have. You’ve got offers and interest rom the biggest programs in the country including Duke, North Carolina, and of course, Florida. Does that feel crazy to you and does college seem a long way away? And what do you do away from the court to relax and be a normal high school student?
CM: College feels far but at the same time close (laughs). I am really excited about it though. It’s going to be tough but I’m excited. I like to play golf off the court. I play with my friends and family a lot when I take a day or two to rest after a long trip like this July live period.
EF: (laughs) It must feel close with schools contacting you and guys like me trying to hit you up for interviews (laughs). Golf must be an awesome change of pace after a wild atmosphere like Adidas Gauntlet, that must feel great! Gator fans would love to know, when did the Gators first offer you and what did they have to say?
CM: They offered me last night. They told me they loved my game and watching me in New York. They said I had a toughness to me they liked and really looked forward to building a relationship with me as I get older.
EF: You mentioned how competitive you are earlier so it’s interesting to see that the Gators noticed your toughness, something that probably goes hand in hand with your competitiveness. How would you define toughness as it relates to basketball?
CM: I would say it relates to making the right play and being a leader. Being able to make winning plays and not be selfish as well as not being scared of contact.
EF: That’s a great definition for sure. Thank you so much for taking some time to talk as I know you traveled all day and I’m sure you’re probably ready to just relax. I’ll just finish off with one more question that I always love to ask players. Who is your favorite current teammate and why?
CM: I would say I do not have a favorite teammate. I love all my teammates and would do anything for them. But thank you for your time man I really appreciate you talking to me. I had fun.
EF: Thanks for doing this! I hope you have a great time in LA these next few days, I’ll be sure to be following your games. And I’m sure I’ll be staying in touch. Take care, be healthy, and good luck!
CM: Thanks man! Talk to you soon.