Harris County senior Jessika Carter knows a thing or two about basketball and family, seeing as younger sisters ZiKeyah and Ny’Azjha are two of her high school teammates. On Sunday, Carter made up her mind to soon join a new basketball family.
Carter committed to Mississippi State, choosing the Bulldogs over five other finalists. A 6-foot-5 center, Carter is a five-star prospect according to ESPN with a scout’s grade of 96.
Carter visited Mississippi State over the weekend and came away impressed with what she saw. She said her time in Starkville allowed her to meet the team and spend some quality time with the Bulldogs away from the coaches and her parents.
Carter said she’s known she wanted to go to Mississippi State, making the announcement nothing more than a formality.
“It’s very exciting,” Carter said. “It felt like home with the way they recruited me. I just really liked them, and it was like a family with them.”
Harris County head coach Steffanie Ramsey explained Mississippi State made Carter a top priority. During the 2016-2017 season, the Bulldogs coaches made numerous trips to Hamilton, Ga., to see Carter in action. Those visits ramped up this summer, as Ramsey said they never missed a game of Carter’s travel ball schedule.
In Ramsey’s opinion, Mississippi State is getting one of the best she’s ever coached.
“First of all, they’re getting an outstanding young lady. She’s a very humble, hard-working, athletic young lady,” Ramsey said. “They have a need for her at the four spot, which is where she wants to be. (Head coach Vic) Schaefer, he’s big on defense, and Jessika has the ability to defend the rim, step out and defend the shot, rebound the basketball, get it out and push it up the floor and go. She runs the floor extremely well, and that’s going to be big for her.”
While Carter’s future is now set, there’s plenty she still wants to accomplish at Harris County.
Carter explained she has several goals for her senior season as a Lady Tiger. First and foremost, she wants to deliver a Class 5A state championship. She strives to average 30-plus points per game and would also like to notch at least one dunk over the course of the season.
“I’ve been ready for this season since we first started school,” Carter said. “That’s all I talk about every day.”
Ramsey praised Carter’s effort level and commitment to the game, two attributes that the Mississippi State coaching staff certainly took notice of. Ramsey said Carter opens up so much for her to do with Harris County in 2017-2018, but no matter how the year goes, she expects Carter to accomplish quite a bit in the years to come.
“I know she’s going to do great things at Mississippi State,” Ramsey said. “They’re getting an outstanding young lady, on and off the court.”
Jordan D. Hill: 770-894-9818, @lesports