Former Aggie Great Jaycee Carroll Continues Stellar Basketball Career Overseas

LOGAN, Utah – Three years removed from his glory days in Logan, the leading scoring in the history of Utah State basketball is living a new set of glory days overseas, both on and off the court, by continuing the stellar play and leadership that Aggie fans saw from 2005 to 2008. The past two seasons for Jaycee Carroll, now playing professionally in Spain, have seen much of the same basketball savvy and dynamite scoring ability that Carroll displayed during his Utah State career. Fresh off returning to Cache Valley after a season in which he averaged 19.1 points per game while shooting 50.7 percent from the field and 39.7 percent from behind the three-point line, all while leading his team to a 21-13 record, Carroll took some time to give an update on his basketball career, his family and his future.

<strong>What have the last two seasons been like playing basketball overseas?</strong>

“The last two seasons I’ve been in Gran Canaria, Spain, playing in a league called the ACB (Asociación de Clubs de Baloncesto). I started two years there as the shooting guard on a team that it is considered a successful season if we make the playoffs and this year we finished fifth out of 18 teams. The year before we finished eighth out of 18 teams, so overall a very successful season. I personally had two good years. I led the ACB Spanish league in scoring the last two years with Gran Canaria and that’s only been done two other times in the history of the league.”

<strong>What were some of the awards you received this past season?</strong>

“Toward the end of the season they do weekly awards and I think I won four or five of those and then for the month of April I was the MVP of the month, but then for the entire season I was voted as the best shooting guard in the league.”

<strong>What’s your celebrity status overseas compared to celebrity status you had at Utah State?</strong>

“It’s funny, here at USU you become famous or a celebrity in Logan and in Cache Valley basically. Outside that, I rarely got really recognized unless I was around basketball people. In Spain though, it’s a professional league. It’s their NBA, so as we go around to different cities and all across Spain, basketball people know who you are and they find you on Facebook, they write you messages, they take photos, they want autographs, there’s basketball cards and it’s a really well-organized and very good league.”

<strong>What is the structure of the season in the league where you play?</strong>

“Basically it’s how the NBA works. The only difference is we only play one game a week and we play every team twice, home and away. It’s a 34-game season that spans over nine months which gets really long sometimes with one game a week. What helps it though is after you play every team once, the season breaks and they have what is called the King’s Cup and the top eight teams in the standings at that time are invited to go to a big tournament. An eight-team, single elimination tournament and it’s huge. It’s one of the biggest things across Europe for basketball and my team made it, we went and played in the whole thing. And then we play the second half of the season and the teams that are in the top eight will go to the playoffs and playoffs are, first and second rounds, best of three, championship, best of five.”

<strong>What was it like playing with former USU teammate Spencer Nelson on Gran Canaria?</strong>

“It was great to be able to team up with him again after basically five years of not playing together. It was really a treat to see his work ethic and his effort and just seeing how he handled living and being in Europe.”

<strong>How is the adjustment to being a family of four now with the new addition?</strong>

“It’s been really cool. It’s been different. My little daughter Bella is now two-and-a-half and she’s big enough to go around, to hang out and just a lot of fun to have around. April 14th, Alba was born in Gran Canaria, Spain, and Alba is Spanish for ‘sunrise.’ She was born right at sunrise and we wanted to do something in Spanish since she was born in Spain to kind of just remember that. She’s been great to have around.”

<strong>Have you been keeping up with the Utah State program since graduating after leading USU to the first of now four-straight WAC titles?</strong>

“I’ve definitely been able to keep up. I go on every weekend and see how the Aggies did. Everything’s been very impressive with what they’ve done over the past three years since I left. They’ve basically broken school records for most wins in a season, had two players of the year after I was and it’s just been super impressive.”

<strong>Has the legend of Wild Bill caught your attention overseas?</strong>

“Yes. It’s actually funny because my teammates always try to find out what Utah State is and Wild Bill is one of the first things that pops up on the internet so we all get a kick out of him and we’re impressed with the attention he’s got.”

<strong>What would you say you miss most about Utah State?</strong>

“Watching my wife Baylee cheer. Also college life is fun. Life is fun now, but being in college and pretty much just having to worry about yourself is a whole different thing. I do miss the organization of basketball and the smart coaches we have. I miss being around coach Morrill and his coaching staff. They really make basketball a joy.”

<strong>What kind of outlook does this summer hold for you between training and holding camps?</strong>

“Summers are nice. We come back to Logan and hang out here. Previously I’ve been in summer leagues but this is the first year I will not be doing any summer leagues, so I’ll just kind of be hanging out training on my own. I’m doing a basketball camp here at The Sports Academy and then drive to Basin, Wyo., where my brother-in-law coaches and do a two-day camp for him. More than anything, I just wanted to come back to Cache Valley and offer a very inexpensive basketball camp where I can give really personal attention to kids and help them improve. I don’t take on a lot of kids and try to keep my groups to 15 to 20 kids at a time.”

<strong>What’s your status on pursuing a career in the NBA?</strong>

“This summer has a lot of uncertainty with the NBA with lockouts, summer leagues and all kinds of things. I’ve had a good enough season the last couple years that I’ve had a couple of really good offers from some European teams and I’m going to sign one of those contracts and pretty much forget about the NBA for a few years. It’ll be in Spain, probably in Barcelona or Madrid.” -USU-

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