The State of Mississippi (HS Basketball) – Part 2

True story. About three weeks ago, a parent came across my blog and my first post on HS basketball in the Magnolia state and emailed me wanting to know what I knew about Omhar Carter. I gave him my cell number and told him to give me a call. No sooner than I sent that email, my phone rang. On the other end was the father of a 6’8″ HS sophomore-to-be who plays 3A basketball for a small school between the Lousiana border and Hattiesburg, MS. He told me that he’d just accompanied his son to the University of Southern Mississippi basketball camp where he met Omhar for the first time. The first thing I wanted to know was how he approached him and what he said. He went on to tell me how his son was picked to scrimmage in a group that was being run by USM guard Jeremy Wise who – for those of you who didn’t know as this parent was unware of – was once coached in AAU by Mr. Carter. He said that the minute that Omhar saw his son he literally ran over to where they were and told him that he“had to get to him before anyone else did”. He then told him how he wanted his son to travel with his AAU squad to Memphis to play in an upcoming tournament and he also told him how his MBA Elite squad would be playing tournaments in Philadelphia, Atlanta and Las Vegas. Not only that, but he also told him how he was good friends with Jerry West, how he once played with Charles Barkley and how he could have his son ranked as one of the top players in the country within a year! They exchanged numbers and he said that since the camp, Omhar had been calling them repeatedly about the trip to Memphis.

The father admitted to me that this was all very new to him and he said that didn’t know much about AAU basketball. All he knew was that his son was a good kid that always wanted to play basketball at USM and he’d been told that his son had the potential to play D1 basketball if he continued to work hard. He said that Mr. Carter talked real smooth and as he referred to it “educated”, but he decided to do his own research and that’s how he found me. Being a father myself, I was very moved during our conversation because he told me how he cared a great deal for his son and it was obvious that something about Omhar didn’t sit right with him, so I proceeded to separate the real from the fake…

Omhar Carter has been in the hoops circle in Jackson since the mid 90’s. He used to play ball himself and was a pretty decent player. He would play pick up any and everywhere around Jackson and seemed to have a knack for befriending some of the best players in the city. Part of the reason for that was everywhere they played, he played. Ask anybody, and they will all tell you that Omhar was always around! I first met him in the summer of ’96 when we were both camp counselors at a local YMCA. We had a lot of kids at the camp who liked to play basketball (one of which was Maurice Williams of the Milwaukee Bucks) and we would organize games for them to play against each other. I hung around Omhar that summer just basically going to gym after gym after gym to play basketball. He used to always tell people how he knew this coach and that coach and how he could help them get into school. That fall he was supposed to attend Alcorn State University to play basketball, but to my knowledge he never did. The following spring he said that he was going to Mississippi College and then that changed to Miles College in Alabama, but to my knowledge…he never did. What I do know about Omhar is this; he’s originally from Corinth, MS and – as far as I know – has no verifiable basketball resume.

That summer is when he first started working with kids on their individual skills. His first project was a PG by the name of James Thomas. JT was a middle school scoring phenom who had just completed his freshman year at Lanier HS. He could play, but he was really small. That didn’t matter much as this was the beginning of the Allen Iverson era and he pretty much patterned not only his game, but everything else about himself after AI. I’m not sure what Omhar told JT’s mom (who was a basketball player herself back in the day) but she pretty much handed the keys to her son over to him. Omhar would work him out at the YMCA and take him around town to play pickup games getting him ready for his sophomore season under coach Thomas Billups. Whenever you saw JT, you saw Omhar…and that’s pretty much how it all started.

To Be Continued… 

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10 Responses

  1. You my brother are very informed, please school the masses on this dude.

    Parents be aware, if you do allow your son to play on his team, make sure that you stay in the loop on all dealings involving your child. Once you do this he’ll probably kick your child off the team, he has no time for parents that want to be involved in their child’s life. Doesn’t sound right does it?

    College basketball is about tall athletic kids with potential. Mr Carter knows this and he is ready to cash in on anyone with potential. From 10 years old on up!

    Stay in your child’s life!!!!

  2. Another informed jacksonian is absolutely correct…My son also played for Omhar’s AAU team and if I start talking everyone will know who I am as well. Everything this blog is saying is 100% correct and true. Fortunately, I was in the loop and pulled my son out before any real damage was done. Thanks to Omhar, my son became investigated by the MHSAA.
    I have much to add to this story!

  3. I also would like to know what role his AAU partner Marc Rowe plays in all of this…there’s something not kosher with this dude either.

  4. Marc Rowe and Omhar are snakes in the grass, do not trust them with your kid.

  5. I do know that they ask parents for money for this and that, wear u down with fundraisers….u never get an itemized financial report of what’s been done with the money…nothing. And when u ask questions, you never get a straight answer, you gotta hear a lecture about “you people always want something for nothing”, and what about “loyalty”! Ha…they don’t know what loyalty means. These dudes target single mothers who are glad to have a man step in and help develop their son”s skills, and be a role model to these kids. Well guess what, wrong dudes! These cats are definately not role models. I will go so far as to say that these are the worst people in the city of Jackson to entrust your kid to. Parents beware! Please take this blog seriously before making a very costly mistake!

  6. I would like to know what happened to this kid James Thomas…this story of his involvment with Omhar is identical to the current relationship between Omhar and Laquinton “Q” Ross.

  7. I HAVE A SON WHO WILL WHO PLAYS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL IN JACKSON, MS. HE IS VERY INTERESTED I PLAYING AAU BASKETBALL WITH MR.CARTER’S SUMMER TEAM. LIVING HERE IN JACKSON I HEAR BOTH POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE THINGS ABOUT THIS GROUP. MY SON IS BEING PRESSURED BY HIS PEERS AND REALLY WANTS TO JOIN. BEFORE I ALLOW HIM TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS GROUP I WOULD LIKE MORE OF THE HISTORY AND SEEMINGLY UNBIASED OPINION THAT ONLY YOU SEEM TO POSSESS. PLEASE CONTACT ME SO THAT WE CAN TALK.

  8. Ma’am ,this man now has 12 schools being looked at for recruiting violations with the NCAA. Stay Away.

  9. First of all my guy get ur facts straight and this is from the horses mouth. I James JT Thomas was trained by my mother and later about 95 a guy by the name of Curtis Bailey I played on his AAU teams my whole time I played AAU ball.Too say I was compared to AI is your choice you dnt knw how I carried myself my friend I dnt knw u anyway back 2 the story. Omhar came in the picture around maybe like 98 helping Curtis train us keeping us workout my mother was always training me more then anyone Omhar couldn’t make any decision for James Thomas Betty Thomas ran that my friend ask Thomas Billups.Ok enuff of dat if u knw anything about James Thomas u should knw I was 00 Dandy Dozen rated #3 player in the state that year #1 guard and #81 in the national also look it up. Alright eventually went on 2 sign with Troy State transferred 2 Wabash Jr College played with Tony Allen of the Grizzles I went on 2 play 2 years in the Mexico League in Delgoto played on the first team y’all brought 2 Jackson in 05 the Rage remember David Sanders Mario Austin Dedric White just 2 name a few all played.07 I played in the ABA for a team out of Marriett GA 09 played for a team out of Tyrone GA also ABA and at this moment I’m playing ball in the same league.So 2 end this all I dnt knw the beef you have with Omhar Carter that’s your business but get the real facts about James Thomas before you speak on that name because my friend even if u didn’t knw it I have a career still doing what I love.

  10. IN THAT ORDER!!! Tell em Jimmy!!!!

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