Though he prefers the name “Vince”, he was born Vincent Lamar Carter in Daytona Beach, FL at Halifax Hospital on January 26, 1977. Vince has one brother, Chris, who was born October 15, 1979. Vince 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.
On June 24, 1998, Vince’s parents watched with pride as the former Buccaneer and Tarheel was the fifth selection in the National Basketball Association (NBA) draft. During that rookie season, the highlights and awards started to roll in. Carter became the first Raptor ever to be named NBA Player of the Week on March 21, 1999 and was also named NBA Rookie of the Month in March and April on his way to being named NBA Rookie of the Year in a landslide victory, earning 113 of a possible 118 votes. During that rookie season, Carter led all rookies in scoring and blocked shots while leading his team in scoring, averaging 18.3 points per game.
During Carter’s second NBA season, his status as an NBA superstar was confirmed, leading the Raptors to the franchise’s first winning season and playoff berth, while garnering impressive individual accolades. Carter has been voted to the NBA All-Star team five years in a row, and has led all vote-getters in fan voting for the 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2004 NBA All-Star Games. Vince garnered the highest number of votes in the East in 2003. This set the stage for his dominating performance that earned him the crown as the Slam Dunk Champion. Carter’s third season in the league saw him continue to develop as a well-rounded player, as he finished fifth in the league in scoring with 27.6 points per game while ranking sixth in the league in made three-point field goals. Vince was named the Hometown Hero for the Month of May, 2001 for “improving the community piece by piece” by the NBA. For the past two seasons, Vince has continued to play hard even though he has had a string of bad luck with some nagging injuries. 2005 brought major changes for Carter when he was traded to the New Jersey Nets in December 2004. Invigorated and excited about the move, he led the Nets to a playoff berth. The fans in New Jersey voted Carter the Continental Airlines Work Hard Work Right Player of the Year. Carter was recognized again when he received the NBA Community Assist Award for July.
In the summer of 2000, Carter was chosen to represent the United States at the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Winning a gold medal added one more accolade to his already star-studded young career. Dunking over a seven-foot opponent added thrills and awe to Carter’s already die-hard fans.
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. Vince plans to continue his education in the next few years, seeking a master’s degree in communications or business.
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 his home state of Florida and his newly adopted home state of New Jersey. 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.
A budding businessman, Vince is the President of Visions In Flight, Inc., a for-profit corporation, and Embassy of Hope Foundation, Inc., a non-profit charity. 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”.
Vince has one daughter, Kai Michelle Carter.