Pearl River women hire former Mississippi State standout

Pearl River women hire former Mississippi State standout

POPLARVILLE, Miss. — Pearl River women's basketball coach Scotty Fletcher has bolstered his staff with the recent hire of Savannah Carter.

The newest Wildcat assistant coach brings a wealth of knowledge having played at Grambling State, Trinity Valley and Mississippi State before moving on to the coaching ranks at the JUCO level.

"I am beyond excited to welcome Savannah Carter to my coaching staff. Savannah brings so many things to the table that are invaluable within a program. She came highly recommended from Texas associate head coach Johnnie Harris from their time together at Mississippi State," Fletcher said. "When you look at her playing resume and see that she won a national championship at the junior college level and went on to be part of two 20-plus win seasons at Mississippi State and started in the most rigorous league in the country and played in the NCAA tournament, I think that speaks volumes."

Carter will primarily work with Pearl River's guards and will serve as recruiting coordinator.

"The minute I got the call from Coach Fletcher, I immediately enjoyed his conversation and energy, and knew right then and there Pearl River would become home for me," Carter said. "As soon as I made it to the campus, I felt more at home, and I did not want to leave. This season is going to be a very interesting one, but a very exciting one.

"Working with Coach Fletcher is going to be great — and I mean it. He is a tenacious, energetic, and positive man who loves the game and these kids as much as I do. That is all I can ask for. I am very grateful and appreciative of the opportunity that I have here."

COACHING EXPERIENCE
Carter most recently served as head coach at Jacksonville College in Jacksonville, Texas, during the 2018-19 and 19-20 seasons. Prior to that, Carter was an assistant coach at JC during the 2017-18 season and Murray State College in 2016-17. Carter got her coaching start at the AAU ranks, working with the Oklahoma Dream Team during the summers in 2011, '12 and '13 and Oklahoma Magic in 2016. She also worked camps at Mississippi State from 2014-17.

"When I visited with Savannah, I quickly realized she has a true passion for developing young women on the court and off. I love the fact that she has worked in the junior college ranks and also been a head coach," Fletcher said. "She is fully aware of what is required from that position serving as both assistant coach and head coach. 

"I think she will make an immediate impact on recruiting and player development within our program."

As an assistant at JC in 2017-18, Carter helped lead the program to a program-best 21 wins, earning the team its debut in the national rankings. Carter's responsibilities included recruiting, film breakdown, shooting charts, travel and more. In July 2018, Carter was thrust into the head coaching responsibility and led Jacksonville for the next two seasons.

Carter's JUCO coaching debut came in 2016 when she joined the MSC staff in Tishomingo, Oklahoma. Carter's responsibilities included practice planning, scouting, player development and film breakdown.

PLAYING CAREER
Prior to joining the coaching ranks, Carter was one of the nation's most sought-after recruits out of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Carter was ranked among the nation's top 20 point guards coming out of Tulsa Memorial High School and was named a Premier Basketball All-American. As a four-star recruit and McDonald's All-American nominee, Carter led her team to four state tournament berths and finished her prep career with 1,244 points.

Carter signed with Grambling out of high school and appeared in 30 games as a freshman during the 2011-12 season, averaging 7.5 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. Her 3.3 assists-per-game ranked third in the SWAC.

Carter transferred to eventual NJCAA Division I National Champion Trinity Valley for the 2012-13 season. During their magical 36-1 run, Carter averaged 11.9 points with 7.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists. Carter was named to the All-Conference and ranked eighth in the NJCAA with 117 steals. In both the team's semifinal and national championship games, Carter came up big with nine points.

Carter finished her playing career at Mississippi State, playing for new Texas coach Vic Schaefer. 

Carter was a main fixture on the 2013-14 squad, appearing in every game and starting all but two contests. She finished the year with 7.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg and 2.2 apg. Her 78 steals were good enough for fourth in the SEC and 10th-most in program history.

Carter was injured during preseason of the 2014-15 season and was limited to 23 games with one start. She still scored 42 points and averaged 1.2 rpg with 14 steals. During her senior season, Carter was named to the SEC Community Service Team and was also an AllState Good Works Team nominee. 

Carter holds an Associate's degree from TVCC, Bachelor's degree from MSU and is working toward a Master's in sports administration from Concordia University.

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