Although Ben Carter was born in Israel, the Michigan State basketball forward only lived there for one year and only has been back two times since. Now, Carter will fulfill his childhood dream of playing professional basketball, and he will return to Israel to do it.
Michigan State announced on Thursday that Carter has signed a contract with Israel professional team Hapoel. The team plays in the EuroCup, the Israeli Premier League, and the Israeli State Cup. After boarding a couple of planes, one off which included a 10-hour flight to Jerusalem, Carter will begin his professional career on Friday when he participates in his first practice with Hapoel.
— Spartan Basketball (@MSU_Basketball) March 29, 2018
Michigan State’s season ended on March 18 when it lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to Syracuse. If you would have told Carter after that game that he would be playing professional basketball less than two weeks later, he wouldn’t have believed you.
“I knew I might have the option to go over and play, but the fact that it happened so quickly was really something I didn’t fathom,” Carter said in the release. “But it was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up and it was something I wanted to pursue.
“It’s making a dream come true. Every kid dreams of playing in the NBA, but I’m getting the chance to play professional basketball at a really high level. I’m going to my home country and that makes it pretty special too.”
In addition, Carter will be playing for the same team his father, Mike, played on for one season.
Carter is currently a graduate student at Michigan State and still has to finish one more class before earning his master’s degree in kinesiology. Despite being oversees, the release notes that Carter and the team have made arrangements for him to finish his schoolwork and to participate in graduation on May 4.
Carter has spent two seasons at Michigan State and only played in one of those seasons, which was this past season. Prior to the 2016-17 season, he injured his knee at practice, causing him to miss the entire season. Before he transferred to Michigan State in the summer of 2016, Carter started his college basketball career at Oregon in 2012 and later transferred to UNLV in 2015, where he earned his bachelor’s degree.
Carter played in 23 games with the Spartans this season and shot 41.2 percent from the field.