Carl Albert's Gioya Carter was one of Class 5A's top players as a junior. As a senior, the Oklahoma signee elevated her game to become one of the top players in the state. After helping the Titans reach the state tournament for her fourth time (ninth consecutive overall), averaging 18.3 points and 7.4 rebounds per game, Carter is The Oklahoman's Big All-City Player of the Year.
Q: During the year, what was your favorite moment?
A: “The Tahlequah game in the first round of the state tournament. We were down a lot, about 10 or so and we weren't playing our best basketball at all. We went into halftime and regrouped and came out and I think I hit like three consecutive 3-pointers and another teammate got an and-one and that sparked us to win the game so that's probably my favorite.”
What was it about that third quarter that helped your team take control?
“We sensed that it was time to kick it in gear. We didn't have a lot of time left, so we were saying in the huddles, ‘We're not going home tonight.' That definitely helped us.”
You made a big stride from your junior to your senior year. What was it about your game that you worked on and what was it about your game that got so much better to allow you to have the kind of season you did this year?
“I played a lot of ball during the summer. I did before, but it was a lot more than it was the previous summers. I was just in the gym a lot, every day of the summer. I worked on my shot, throwing up thousands and thousands of shots, I did ball-handling drills and I worked out with Ashley Paris, who was one of our assistant coaches this summer. I just want to keep getting better.”
You'll have a chance to do that next year playing for Oklahoma. How much are you looking forward to that?
“I'm in the gym a lot, almost every day of the week. I'm running. I'm just trying to keep myself in basketball shape until I get up there because I know Sherri Coale is going to have us working hard.”