CHHS hires former National Player of the Year Jatoria Carter
Published 9:01 am Wednesday, July 12, 2023
New Charles Henderson high School Girls’ Basketball Coach LaKenya Knight has brought one of her assistants, Jatoria Carter, on board to serve as an assistant at CHHS.
Carter has spent her entire coaching career as an assistant – since 2016 – under Knight and will continue in that role at Charles Henderson.
“I enjoyed coaching the boys’ team and when she said that she was taking this job, I decided I wanted to come down and try to help continue the tradition of going to state,” Carter said of coming to CHHS. “I want to give my all and help these girls get to the next level and pull their potential out, as well.”
While Carter is a young coach, she brings a plethora of knowledge and experience with her, as well. Carter played for Knight at Jeff Davis in the late 2000s, earning 5A-6A Metro Player of the Year, All-State and 6A Central Region MVP honors. She finished her high school career with more than 1,000 points, 400 rebounds and 200 steals.
Carter continued her basketball career at Northwest Florida State College, averaging 6.7 points, 2.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.9 steals per game as a sophomore. She then transferred to Auburn-Montgomery. Despite suffering a significant knee injury in her very first game, Carter went on to become one of the most prolific players in AUM history.
She returned to the court in 2014 and earned NAIA All-American Honorable Mention along with winning SSAC Newcomer of the Year and First-Team All-SSAC honors. She ranked second in the entire NAIA in steals and 24th in assists, averaging 13.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 4.1 assist and 3.4 steals per game.
As a senior, Carter earned First-Team NAIA All-America, First-Team All-SSAC, SSAC Player of the Year, SSAC Defensive Player of the Year and NAIA National Player of the Year honors as she averaged 20.8 points, 3.8 steals and 5.1 assists per game. Her 168 steals that season shattered the previous school record and her 168 assists also ranks in the Top 10, alongside current CHHS Head Coach LaKenya Knight. Carter’s career at AUM was so dominant that she was selected as the AUM Player of the Decade.
Carter, a Montgomery native, returned to her alma mater after graduating from AUM and served as an assistant coach on the boys’ basketball team under her former coach, Knight.
“She means a lot to me,” Carter said of Knight. “She’s a mentor. She helped me become a better player and a better person. I’m very thankful to have her in my life and appreciative of her for taking me under her wing and guiding me through life on and off the court with basketball, with coaching and just becoming a better person.”
The heights that Carter reached during her playing days are what many high school players aspire to and she hopes to be able to help many of CHHS’ players reach those heights.
“I’ve already started working with them a little more right now and just trying to give them my all, so they know what it takes to be a great athlete,” she said.
Carter knows of the history of the CHHS Lady Trojans program and wants to help continue its success.
“The No. 1 thing is we want to compete,” she emphasized. “Obviously, we want to win a state championship but for me, competing and continuing to develop these girls and getting after it every day is the main thing.”