INDIANAPOLIS – George Carter was a limo driver in Las Vegas. He enjoyed a beer after a long day of work and it was even better if there was a game on at the bar. On the good days, he was funny and easygoing. The things that annoyed other people, Carter let roll right off his back.
Carter was 75, and on the bad days, he was hardened and tough. He had throat cancer. He was being evicted by his landlord, unable to afford the new rent, medical bills piling up. Not able to drive because of chemotherapy.
George Carter was an out-of-work limo driver living in Nevada when he died penniless in November. No family to be found, not even a long lost cousin, and literally only one friend on this earth.
Carter was a brilliant athlete. When he graduated from St. Bonaventure University in 1967 — with 1,322 points and averaging 19.4 points per game in three seasons — he was picked 81st overall by the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Draft.
He also was drafted by the NFL’s Buffalo Bills and the MLB’s New York Mets. Three professional sports teams wanted Carter to play for them.
Instead, he served two years in the military before going to play with the ABA’s Washington Capitals, where he was an all-star in 1970. He went on to the Virginia Squires, playing alongside Julius Erving; then to the Pittsburgh Condors, Carolina Cougars and New York Nets.