Louisiana native and former Atlanta Hawks star forward Paul Millsap had a vision of how he wanted to give back to the city of Atlanta during his time in the city.
He wanted a school that post-graduate athletes could come to and prepare for the grind of being a college athlete. It was a model the world had seen have great success at places like IMG Academy in Florida and Millsap thought it could work for him too.
But a vision like this needs a great leader on the court while Millsap is still pursuing his dreams in the NBA.
Millsap, now with the Denever Nuggets, called on his cousin and Farmerville native Thomas Carr to lead the program at Core4 Prep School in Chamblee, Ga.
Carr spent nine years coaching at Union Parish High School under he and Millsap’s uncle, Johnny Simmons. He learned a lot from Simmons and the pair lead the Farmers to the 2013 Class 3A state championship game.
When Carr heard of this opportunity at Core4 he felt this was a great opportunity to spread his wings and take on a great new challenge back in 2018.
“It was to help in my maturing as a coach,” Carr said. “Understanding things as a head coach and I get to coach against high level programs such as IMG and Oak Hill, and recruit across the country and interact with Division I coaches.”
It is a chance at one day being able to coach at the major Division I level of college basketball that Carr has his sights set on.
“I am still young,” Carr said. “But I want to get a college coaching job one day and this is a step toward coaches respecting me for being able to identify and develop talent.”
Carr has gotten to coach against some of the top basketball programs in America and won the Battle of the Apple in Brookyln, New York in 2019.
In all the program has sent 24 players to college basketball including nine to major Division I programs.
“We take guys that are out of high school, but need that extra year before college,” Carr said. “They need maturity or ACT scores. They get better before getting the chance to get recruited all over again.”
His NBA star cousin trusts Carr to lead the ship, but will stop in from time to time on his summers off from the NBA to lend some advice to the young players.
“On his free time, he is always in the gym or at practice,” Carr said. “Analyizing and helping guys. It has been great. He is heavily involved.”