Growing up with several older brothers in the house meant that Orange Lutheran senior Garrett Carlson had no choice but to be active in youth sports.
“So my dad just kind of threw me in there and said if your older brothers played these sports, you’ve got to play them,” says Carlson.
Carlson participated in everything from football to basketball to baseball, and of all the team sports he tried, it was basketball that captured his passion. As a seventh-grader, he committed to playing hoops exclusively. The two-year varsity player is a guard for the Lancers and enjoys the leadership that is inherent in the position.
“Being a guard, you kind of control different things on the court, and you’re also one of the more vocal pieces because you have the ball in your hands a lot of the time,” says the 18-year old. “So you have a lot of decisions to make, and you kind of dictate where different things go.”
As captain of a younger squad this season, Carlson is called upon to provide guidance to his teammates, something he achieves both vocally and by example.
"From the first day Garrett stepped onto OLu's campus, he has been a leader in the basketball program,” says OLu boys basketball interim head coach, Daniel Dunbar. “Garrett is someone I can count on to always do the right thing, on and off the court. I am very grateful to have a player like Garrett be the captain of the basketball program.”
Whether he’s learning a new facet of leadership while sitting out his sophomore season due to injury or he’s helping his team rally from a 20-point deficit while competing in Australia, Carlson feels he has already learned a lifetime full of lessons from the sport.
“It’s taught me how to be able to work with another person that could be completely different and have a different background,” says Carlson, “but we all learn how to have the same goal and be able to work together to achieve that.”
Carlson plans to pursue a business degree, and he is open to playing basketball collegiately if the opportunity arises. He will miss the team bonding at OLu, the challenge of playing in a tough league and the opportunity to collectively represent Christ.
“My faith has really made me have comfort in playing here,” says Carlson. “It’s allowed me to be able to have a connection with other people. When things are getting rough or things are down, I have God to lean on.”
Inspiration and motivation, both athletically and spiritually, are modeled for Carlson by his grandfather.
“He’s pushed me to do a lot,” says Carlson, “and [he] has taught me how to keep my character and my emotions and my goals all focused and centered on God at the end of the day.”
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