Derrick Caracter grew up in Fanwood, New Jersey and got into basketball at an early age. Born with great size, he knew he could go far with basketball. He was so talented that heading into high school he was regarded as a can’t miss prospect. Caracter could not get comfortable in high school and he was constantly transferring. His freshmen year he attended New Jersey basketball powerhouse St. Patrick High School. He then went to Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School for his sophomore year but then decided to return to St. Patrick High School for his junior year. For his senior year, he transferred to Notre Dame Prep to help get his academics in order.
Regarded as the #25 best prospect in the 2006 high school class according to Rivals.com, Caracter attended the University of Louisville. Although a freshmen, standing at 6’8 275 pounds, Caracter was ready to contribute right away. However, during his time at Louisville, Caracter had trouble controlling his weight, a bad attitude, and was constantly just going through the motions at practice. A player so gifted was beginning to waste away all the potential that once had him as a can’t miss prospect. After two years of ups and downs at Louisville, Caracter entered the NBA Draft. However, once Caracter realized his draft stock was 2nd round to undrafted, Caracter pulled his name out of the draft before the deadline. Caracter was left in a tough spot. Head coach Rick Pitino gave Caracter’s scholarship away to senior guard Will Scott. Caracter was unable to return to Louisville. He found himself in limbo again, just like in high school.
Derrick Caracter found himself at UTEP the next year. Per NCAA rules, Caracter was required to sit out his first season as a transfer. He was eligible in the second half of the 2009-2010 season for UTEP and averaged 14 points and 8 rebounds. He would re-enter his name in the NBA Draft and stay entered. Caracter was selected with the 58th pick, the third to last pick, by the Los Angeles Lakers. After going through injury, stints in the D-League, and times of not seeing the floor with the Lakers, he was waived in 2012. He averaged 5 min in 41 appearances with the Lakers and did not catch on with any other NBA team. He has been playing overseas with various teams located in Lithuania, Brazil, Israel, Puerto Rico, as well as the NBA D-League in the states.
A can’t miss prospect squandered potential and can’t find the NBA floor. It just goes to show you that while talent and size mean a lot, it’s not everything.