Freshman guard Kanaan Carlyle doesn’t want to speak lots to make his presence identified on the courtroom. With a easy between-the-legs dribble, he makes defenders instinctively shuffle their ft backward. In simply two onerous dribbles, the six-foot-three guard can discover himself on the rim, hovering over defenders for a dunk.
That is nothing new for his longtime coach, Korey Harris, who has identified Carlyle for no less than a decade now.
“Kanaan can have you scratching your head typically like, “Did he simply try this?!,” Harris wrote. “From his acrobatic finishes to his skill to search out the tightest gaps throughout the protection and throw darts to his teammates, Kanaan is the definition of a participant that flirts with the razor’s edge.”
However past his noteworthy athleticism, which embrace a 40-inch vertical and pace to kill for, Carlyle possesses a mindset that’s uncommon for gamers of his caliber.
“It takes a particular individual to actually not care what others suppose and be keen to play carefree, particularly on among the largest phases,” Harris wrote. “Kanaan has that degree of self-confidence.”
This fearless mindset was additionally evident in his recruiting. The freshman guard from Atlanta had presents from among the high basketball applications within the nation, together with Baylor, Alabama, Auburn and Tennessee. However somewhat than selecting a type of faculties, Carlyle determined to forge his personal path and attend Stanford — 2,481 miles away from his hometown.
The Georgia product is conscious that his determination might puzzle outsiders.
“I really feel like Stanford is a unique determination than what most gamers would make,” Carlyle mentioned. “They might go to Baylor or Auburn, however to me I really feel like I’m completely different. What I made was a unique determination.”
It wasn’t Stanford’s athletic services or fan help that drew him. Quite, Carlyle was impressed by the willpower displayed by the scholars on his go to to campus.
“I actually favored how bold everybody on Stanford’s campus gave the impression to be,” Carlyle informed the San Francisco Chronicle. “Simply strolling round throughout my go to, everybody was finding out. You might inform how goal-oriented they had been. I used to be like, ‘I wish to be part of that.’”
Those that have labored intently with Carlyle perceive that his mindset is completely different from different basketball stars his age.
Recalling an previous encounter with Carlyle, Harris wrote, “I knew Kanaan was completely different after I met him over 10 years in the past.” Harris was introduced in as a visitor speaker for elementary college gamers at a neighborhood gymnasium.
“He was the one child to ask questions. Actually he requested so many questions that one of many coaches needed to reduce him off simply so we might end on time!” he wrote.
For Harris, this curiosity is what units Carlyle other than different athletes.
“He’s distinctive as a result of most gamers which are fearless rivals additionally battle with an uncontrolled ego or a terror in direction of criticism,” Harris wrote. “Kanaan isn’t like most. He needs to be taught.”
Carlyle’s inquisitive and impressive mindset doesn’t simply apply to basketball. He additionally plans to check enterprise at Stanford and to turn into an entrepreneur after his basketball profession ends.
“I’ll in all probability research enterprise, hopefully I’ll go to the league so I gotta learn the way to have the ability to handle my very own cash,” Carlyle mentioned in an interview with Professional Perception. “I wish to construct up my enterprise someday after basketball.”
After spending his first three years of highschool at Milton Excessive Faculty, 45 minutes from Atlanta, the six-foot-three guard wished to expedite his basketball improvement even additional. When trying into different choices for his final yr of college, the athletic combo guard was intrigued by the choice to play at Additional time Elite, particularly when league officers informed him that he might forfeit the wage and never sacrifice school eligibility.
Ultimately, Carlyle determined to affix the upstart skilled basketball league, which has turn into a well-liked different to school basketball. The league allowed Carlyle to get expertise taking part in towards one of the best 16-to-20 yr previous basketball expertise nationally, whereas additionally giving him the chance to work out with high coaches and trainers.
Regardless of a possibility to receives a commission a hefty six-figure wage and begin his skilled profession early, Carlyle remained agency in his dedication to the Cardinal, exhibiting how a lot he wished to attend college on the Farm — for its alternatives on and off the courtroom.
“My mother and father wished me to go to school and I wished to go to school, so it was by no means actually in consideration to go the professional route by OTE,” Carlyle mentioned. “However total I’m glad I went there. I discovered lots from everybody who was there and it was superb for my improvement.”
Popping out of highschool, the dynamic guard has been praised by scouts for his tight deal with, shot-creation and disruptive protection. However in his fixed try to enhance, Carlyle mentioned he has centered on “changing into extra environment friendly and increasing my vary out to the school three-point line” this pre-season.
Stanford’s teaching employees has been impressed by Carlyle’s improvement since he’s gotten on campus
“He had an especially productive summer time and has constantly improved because the day we began summer time exercises,” mentioned assistant basketball coach David Berkun. “His pure skill, athleticism and basketball instincts actually stand out, and these traits will instantly translate to the school recreation.”
Whereas the Atlanta guard’s dedication to his improvement on and off the courtroom is clear, he might want to discover the mandatory resolve for the distinct problem that lays forward of him. Whereas different high gamers in his highschool class wish to help applications which have had a historical past of current success, Carlyle is trying to resurrect a program that hasn’t made the NCAA event since 2014.
“I wish to be completely different,” Carlyle informed the SF Chronicle. “I wish to get Stanford again to the [NCAA] Event.”