Famed basketball coach Ken Carter sent a powerful message when he literally locked his undefeated, state play-off bound team out of the gym and forced them to hit the books and stop counting on athletic potential as the only ticket out of a tough, inner city life. The film, "Coach Carter," based on the lock-out and starring Samuel L. Jackson as the Coach, is just one more testimony to the strength of his convictions. At the podium, Coach Carter scores with hard-hitting advice about accountability, integrity, teamwork and leadership to succeed both on and off the basketball court.
A successful businessman when he accepted the head basketball coach position at Richmond High School in California in 1997, Carter had a monumental task at hand. The students were failing academically at an alarming rate, and the athletic programs were in a pathetic state. Within two years, he had virtually single-handedly turned around the school, physically cleaning up (trash, graffiti, drug dealers), and mentally cleaning house as well.A contract that each player and his parents signed spelled out crucial rules of conduct: treat others with respect; shun drugs and alcohol; sit in the front of class and participate; wear suit and tie on game day; and maintain a minimum of a 2.3 GPA. When not all of the players lived up to these obligations, the play-off bound, undefeated Richmond Oilers--including Carter’s own son, Damien--were locked out of the gym and pulled from any basketball-related activities to learn how to “rise as a team.” Academically solid players tutored weaker ones, and the whole team improved their GPAs. Most importantly, these inner city students ultimately returned not just to the court, but to a new standard of winning, one that transcended the hoop dreams of high school, to college educations and futures they might never have imagined for themselves.
In addition to coaching SlamBall’s champion team, The Rumble, Carter is owner/operator of Prime Time Publishing, Prime Time Sports, and is author of Yes Ma'am, No Sir: The 12 Essential Steps for Success in Life. He is also founder and chairman of the Coach Ken Carter Foundation, a non-profit organization that develops, promotes and provides education, training and mentoring programs for African-American youths. In 2002, he was selected to carry the Olympic torch for the San Francisco Bay Area/Richmond California.Coach Carter delivers powerful, exciting keynotes that can be tailored specifically for your audience. The Coach's honest, straightforward delivery continues to make him a highly sought-after personality in the academic, business and sports worlds. His presentations go straight to the hearts of educators, coaches, students, and leaders of any field, resulting in better performance, increased productivity and higher motivation levels. Coach Carter uses real life examples and a genuine, caring approach to energize and help individuals reach their highest potential.