In The Pipeline: Determined to achieve his dream

"The Harlem 'Kings,' not the Globetrotters," he chuckles. "Sort of like the Globetrotters, definitely an entertaining team to play for, but I mean, at that point I'd play for anybody."

Huntington Beach-based professional basketball player Curtis W. Carter is recounting another of the offbeat teams he played for over the course of the last 10 years or so. He's crafted his odyssey into a series of books, the newest of which is called "The Road to the NBA, Volume 3."

"I played in Spain — all over Europe, in fact," he says, "and then all across the United States in minor leagues, independent leagues — you name it."

The now-journeyman hoopster had a dream as a kid growing up in Ohio, where he excelled in several sports.

"I was pretty good at various sports, but basketball was the dream," he says. "I got very close to the NBA, was scouted by the Houston Rockets after playing in a Texas league for a while, and then it was back on the road — Kosovo, the Cedar Valley Jaguars, up to Washington state. It's gypsy-like, not too different from what a lot of minor league baseball players go through as they try and make it to the show. But we do it because, simply, this is what we do. We chase our dream of being a pro athlete, and the journey is so interesting that I wanted to write about it."

And write about it he has. As described by the publisher (Xlibris), "Perseverance, determination, diligence, confidence, spiritual strength, academic success and internal desire are the building blocks to the foundation that is laid in this must-read edition. The amazing grace of God lights up this whole story! The dramatic reality will keep you glued to the pages until the very end."

Carter's faith plays a big part in his life, and he uses it to frame the message in his series of "Road to the NBA" titles. As for whom he considers to be the audience for the book, Carter says it stretches across wide parallels.

"Grade schoolers, teenagers, college athletes looking to play pro ball some day — I wanted to show all young players the rules of the road, and the things to look out for as you embark on a basketball career," he says. "There are so many things to be aware of, so many pitfalls, that I thought I'd try and create a realistic road map."

Carter is still on his path, still trying out for pro teams, still on the circuit, still holding onto his dream of playing in the NBA. But he's also created a new career for himself as an author of a popular series of books that are essential reads for young athletes interested in trying to take their game to the top. We wish him the best

Carter will be having a book signing at the Applebee's restaurant on Brookhurst Street in Fountain Valley during happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. Sept. 10.

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Also, a note from Colette's Children's Home (which works to combat homelessness for women and children) here in Huntington Beach. The nonprofit is having its annual campout and needs some help: Organizers need 40 sleeping bags (all sizes) to be either donated or borrowed. The campout date is Sept. 11. If anyone is interested in donating, they can drop the items off at Colette's offices between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or contact Rosie Chio at (714) 596-1380 or rchio@healinghomelessness.org. The drop-off address is 17301 Beach Blvd. Suite 5.

CHRIS EPTING is the author of 18 books, including the new "Hello, It's Me: Dispatches from a Pop Culture Junkie." You can write him at chris@chrisepting.com.

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