TWIN FALLS – When she’s old enough to understand, Carrick Felix’s daughter will hear some wicked good yarn about her father– perhaps best told by her father. He was after all accepted by Duke University, has a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s in liberal studies from Arizona State University.
His tale – so far – doesn’t have to be embellished.
She might still grow up through the best part, the precipice of which Felix may be upon now.
From a state high school championship in Arizona, to not receiving a Division I scholarship offer be-cause he was too slight, then starring at the College of Southern Idaho and missing the 2011 national championship season by a year, to being the first JUCO player to be offered and receive a scholarship from Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski, then, incredibly, turning it down, going back to his home state, playing at Arizona State University, and becoming one of the most improved players in the country by last season, Felix could sell his story now.
It’s about to take another turn.
Before Felix prepares for his final batch of workouts prior to the 2013 NBA draft, he dropped by the CSI gymnasium this week. He played pick-up games with some old CSI players, some new ones, and even a guy who’ll be in his line of a work in a month— prospective first round pick Pierre Jackson.
But that’s not what Felix, the last off the court, wanted to talk about with the Times-News late Monday night.
That was the more important question to Felix.
“My daughter,” Felix said.
How, his young daughter might ask, has daddy gotten so far in life?
Perhaps, Felix would answer, by not looking so far—either in time or space – perhaps, by looking back at her.
While his daughter lives in Twin Falls with what Felix described as a “great family and mom,” he made this trip back just for her.
“It is good to come out here and see my daughter,” Felix said. “See her smile. It’s good to humble my-self.”
He soon could have the money to make those trips far more frequently.
But he’s got to demonstrate his value, first.
High-character. Mature. That’s how Felix is described in the copious NBA draft literature on the inter-net.
Those attributes, according to a feature story on Felix that appeared on NBA.com by writer Chris Dortch, will be two of his biggest selling points.
From the no-nonsense staff at CSI, “Duke of JUCO”, to the experience of turning down Coach K at Duke, to working with the player-development oriented staff at ASU, Felix has been through a lot since he first arrived in Twin Falls.
“It’s been a long time coming since I’ve been back (to CSI),” Felix said. “I can definitely tell how different I am. It’s not so much on the court. I have grown up a lot since the first couple years of college.”
He credited a litany of coaches for his personal development, many of whom are still at CSI.
“(Head coach) Steve Gosar, (former assistant) Ryan Devlin, (assistant) Colby Blaine, especially Colby, there was always someone who I could go talk with about the little problems in my life. I got a lot of life support.”
But uncharted waters lie ahead – call Felix an explorer.
None have been through what Felix could go through in the next few months, making an NBA team without being drafted.
Felix has no idea if or where he’ll go – likely in the mid-second round if he does.
There’s not much more he could have done; he’ll have made more than 20 workouts before the draft on June 27th.
An All-Pac-12 first team defender with the projected ability to guard three positions – he was shutting down CSI point guard Montigo Alford Monday night—Felix seemingly has the chops to be a quality NBA rotation player.
Chops, not pork chops. At the NBA combine, Felix was measured to have one of the lowest percentages of body fat in the event’s history – 3.3 percent.
Felix never stops moving.
He’s renowned for his hustle – a possession generating machine. He’s numbers, from 3-point shooting, to scoring efficiency, rebounding, and his combine athletic measurements, they’re all seemingly impres-sive enough to merit a selection in the draft, to impress one team enough to invest in him up front.
But Felix is a late-bloomer.
Was last year an anomaly?
In his first two seasons at ASU, Felix had zero double-doubles. He then led the Pac-12 with 13 last sea-son.
What is his ceiling?
Felix says he isn’t concerned about developing into a star.
That, he thinks, should make him more attractive.
“I’ve tried to develop into a smarter player, to play within myself,” Felix said. “I know what I am good at; I know what my strengths are. I’m not looking to turn into a Kobe or Lebron, but to be a high character guy who can grow, develop, someone who know who they are on the court, someone like a Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard, Iman Shumpert, a more athletic Bruce Bowen. I believe I have the ability to go in the first round, but what I’m really worried about is the right fit.”