Norville “Banana” Carey eyeing Japanese basketball contract

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Norville “Banana” Carey, right, blocks a shot during the CBC Championships

By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway

Norville “Banana” Carey played his last two games in the territory, when the BVI hosted the 2015 CBC Championships, followed by representing Southern Mississippi in the Tropical Shoot. He has since played in Holland and France and the COVID-19 pandemic came as a blessing in disguise as he rehabilitates and eyes a contract with a Japanese team.

“After I played here, I went back to Southern Miss, played two more years and then my senior year, I redshirted then when I graduated, I went to Rider University in New Jersey and I played there my last year,” Carey told Island Sun Sports. “After that, I went to Holland where I started my professional career and played for a year. The second year I went to France. In the first half of the season, I got injured when I tore some ligaments with a bone fracture and a fractured foot.”

Carey said at first, he was told that the injury he had in December 2018 was ‘no big issue’ and doctors said he’d be fine, but nothing worked. He was sent to one of the top rehab facilities, felt good for the first week, then was asked to run. Everything he said went back to the beginning and the pain returned. Carey said his wife who plays professionally, had the exact injury, so he had an idea of what it was but was in France wasting time. Now he’s healthy and ready to go again.

“I just said I’ll come to the states and get it checked and they confirmed that it was fractured and I’ll have to do surgery,” he pointed out. “I did the surgery last August and I’ve been recovering ever since. I’m now healthy again and trying to go and play somewhere. My target market is Japan and I already have high interest there with a team already so I’m just awaiting confirmation on a contract offer.” 

He was recently on a conference call with the owner and general manager and they had a good conversation as he’s one of the top prospects. He said hopefully something comes of it and he hears from them soon.

The COVID-19 pandemic he said has been a blessing in disguise as it halted everything and gave him time to rehab and get in shape. 

“I took it as a blessing because I got a lot of working out, even though some to guys couldn’t get to a gym, I was able to get to a gym to do my strength training and core training,” he pointed out. “I’ve been able to take care of my body and be prepared.”

His transition from collegiate to professional basketball opened his eyes as he had to look out for himself. There was no one behind him telling him what to do. 

“It comes with your job,” he noted. “If you don’t do your job, they’ll get rid of you. You have to focus on what you came to do.”

Carey said he chose Holland to start his pro career because that’s where he got the better offer and it opened other opportunities to transition from there.

“The style of play in Holland didn’t make it a bad transition and I adjusted just fine,” he said.

When asked what advice he’d give to the Territory’s young players who have aspirations to play professionally, Carey said they have to take it seriously.

“If they really want to do something, they have to commit to being away— from family, friends, everybody—and try to accomplish a goal that they set for themselves,” he explained. “They have to be ready to do a lot of sacrificing in terms of holidays, all of that stuff gets wiped out the door. You have to be mentally tough for the most part and willing to work hard.”

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