By Jaylon Thompson
The Atlanta Hawks are soaring atop the NBA Eastern Conference standings. With a 37-8 record, the Hawks have been the most surprising team in the league. Atlanta boosts two perennial All-Stars in center Al Horford and forward Paul Millsap. They also have a magnificent head coach in Mike Budenholzer at the helm of the entire operation. The entire roster embodies a mindset that believes in a “team before all” approach. No one embodies that selfless mindset more than Hawks small forward DeMarre Carroll.
A native of Birmingham, Alabama, DeMarre Carroll has never been given anything in life. In fact, Carroll has seen more adversity than he would like to remember. Carroll has a rare liver disease, he lost his brother at an early age, and he was shot in college during a club altercation. Life has never come easy for Carroll. Through adversity, he finds himself continuing to persevere towards his dreams. It is something he mentioned in an interview with Bleacher Report.
“If I hadn’t been through everything I’ve been through in my life, I probably would have just called it quits,” Carroll said.
“I stuck with it and made the most of my opportunity.”
This season, Carroll has definitely made the most of his opportunities. Carroll is the heartbeat of the Atlanta Hawks. Never one to attract the spotlight, Carroll does the dirty work on both ends of the court. Nicknamed the “Junkyard Dog”, Carroll has a hand in everything the Hawks have accomplished so far this season.
Whether it is guarding the opposing team’s best player or shouldering the offensive load, Carroll just produces every game. Carroll averages 11.8 points per game, 5.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.3 steals this season. In fact, his defensive intensity fuels the Hawks and it is a big reason why the Hawks rank first in points allowed this season (96.2 ppg).
For many reasons, Carroll’s impact is breathtaking. His story and leadership presence has touched many lives in the on and off the court. Carroll is active in the Atlanta community as he volunteers with the Genesis Shelter for homeless newborn babies and families. As a family man, Carroll also looks out for the younger generation. His commitment to others leaves him recognized as one of the most respected players in the NBA.
For Carroll, it’s not about the fame or fortune, it’s about improving lives each day. As the Hawks go into the second-half of the season, pay close attention to DeMarre Carroll. Look for him to continue to be active on both ends of the court. Watch for his smile and enthusiasm as he cheers on his teammates.
Relish in his post-game comments and his quotes regarding the circumstances of life. Think about his journey and all that he has been through. DeMarre Carroll is happy with his life. He has won at each level of life. It is no surprise that DeMarre Carroll has gone from tragedy to triumph.