Though he prefers the name “Vince”, he was born Vincent Lamar Carter in Daytona Beach, FL at Halifax Hospital on January 26, 1977. He attended public and private schools, beginning at age 4, in Deland, South Miami and Daytona Beach. He was the only seventh grader to ever play on Campbell Junior High School’s varsity basketball team as a starter. In addition to being captain of Mainland High School’s volleyball team, he is said to be the most gifted and decorated basketball player to grace the court at Mainland High School where he graduated with honors in 1995. Other high school honors included USA Today, Parade, and McDonald’s All-America and was voted Florida’s 1995 Basketball Player-of-the-Year. Vince provided lots of musical excitement when he played baritone and saxophone in the marching and jazz bands, respectively, at Mainland and was voted head drum major for his senior year. In 1995, Vince was voted to the USA Junior National Team where he played in the World Championships.
As a Tarheel at the University of North Carolina from 1995 through 1998, Vince garnered, for two consecutive years, the statistical leader award. In addition, he earned the best field goal percentage and the defensive player of the year awards in 1998. Vince helped the Tarheels make it to the final four in 1997 and 1998. In both of these games, he was the leading scorer. His outstanding college play propelled him to the five (5) finalists for the prestigious “John Wooden Award” and the national player of the year award.
Vince was among the top five draft picks in the 1998 NBA draft and joined the Toronto Raptors where he distinguished himself in his rookie season as an explosive player with a powerful dunk and colorful on-court play. He was selected 1999 NBA “Rookie of the Year,” garnering 113 of 118 possible points. He was also named Sportsman of the Year for NBA’s Central Division.
In 2000, Carter distinguished himself as the NBA Slam Dunk Contest winner and proudly represented the United States on the Olympic Basketball Team. He wowed the crowds in Hawaii, Japan, and Australia and is one of the proud United States gold medal winners. Dunking over a seven-foot opponent added thrills and awe to Carter’s already die-hard fans.
Vince led the Toronto Raptors to three playoff berths, and after joining the New Jersey Nets in 2004, led them to three playoff berths. In July 2009, Vince was traded to the Orlando Magic and helped them reach the playoffs in 2010. In December 2010, Vince joined the Phoenix Suns. In 2011, at the end of the NBA lockout, Vince was traded to the Dallas Mavericks, reining NBA champions. In 2014, Vince joined the Memphis Grizzlies.
He was selected as an NBA All-Star for eight consecutive years, leading all vote getters for four of those years. The fans chose Vince as a starter in six of the eight years. In 2003, Vince was named to the U.S. Men’s Senior National Team for the FIBA Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Puerto Rico where he helped the U.S. to a 10-0 mark.
In 2004-2005, Vince became the 26th fastest player in the history of the NBA to reach 10,000 points. In 2012, Carter became the 104th player in the NBA to appear in 1,000 games. In 2013, Carter became the 33rd player in NBA history with at least 8,000 career field goals, the 28th player in NBA history to eclipse the 22,000-point mark, and the 11th player in NBA history with at least 16,000 career triples (1,638). In 2006 and 2007, Vince was named the Continental Work Hard Fly Right Player of the Year. Also in 2007, Vince was inducted into the Florida High School Athletic Hall of Fame for his outstanding representation of Florida while attending Mainland High School in Volusia, County, Florida.
Carter’s most significant accomplishment culminated in May 2001, when he accepted his diploma from the University of North Carolina for completing his degree in African-American Studies.
While Carter is proud of his development and success as a basketball player, he also takes great pride in his work off the court through his Embassy of Hope Foundation, assisting children and their families in Florida, New Jersey and Toronto. Carter established his foundation in 1998 when he was drafted into the NBA. The Embassy of Hope’s slogan, “Believing in Your Dreams”, represents Vince’s own approach to success, while encouraging others who may be less fortunate to see that they too can be a winner. In addition to the yearly scholarship program and support for organizations serving his community, Kai’s Kloset has added a new dimension to the foundation’s philanthropy. Vince’s nine-year old daughter, Kai Michelle, donates clothes she has outgrown for children who have clothing needs. Florida Governor, Charlie Crist, recognized Vince as a Points of Light recipient because of his philanthropic endeavors.
A budding businessman, Vince is or has been endorsed during his NBA career by such corporations as Nike, Wilson, Gatorade, EA Sports, T-Mobile and others. He is the President of Visions In Flight, Inc., a for-profit corporation, and Embassy of Hope Foundation, Inc., a non-profit charity. Vince’s most recent undertaking is Vince Carter’s, a restaurant in Daytona Beach that opened January 19, 2010, where he is the co-owner.
Vince’s efforts to improve the quality of life for parents and their children have been recognized by the Children’s Home Society prompting the organization to name him the 2000 “Child Advocate-of-the-Year”. Volusia County Schools named the gymnasium at Mainland High School the Vince Carter Athletic Center honoring his gift to the district of 2.5 million dollars. In addition, Vince and his mother, Michelle Carter-Scott, donated $1.6 million to the Stewart-Marchman Foundation to help build a 100-bed treatment facility for alcohol and drug addiction recovery named “The Vince Carter Sanctuary”. For his continuing efforts to influence positive change and help others, Stewart-Marchman-Act and NASCAR honored Vince at a dinner for his philanthropic endeavors. He was the honorary pace car driver for the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona Beach International Speedway. Most recently, Volusia County declared Sunday, January 10, 2010 as Vince Carter and Michelle Carter-Scott Day.
His mother, Michelle Carter-Scott, and his father, Edgar Scott support him in all of his efforts. Vince has one daughter, Kai Michelle Carter, and three siblings, Chris, Jeff, and Alicia.