Title: Carl English Is Still Balling Out and Building Up Newfoundland’s Hoops Scene
Date: March 14, 2018
Original Source: Vice
Synopsis: In my latest for Vice, I wrote about the origin story of Carl English, his decision to return home to St. John’s in the NBL, and what he hopes to do for basketball in Newfoundland.
As he paces up and down his corner of the two-lane road in Patrick’s Cove, Newfoundland, Carl English is furious. At some point between the conclusion of his last shooting session the night before and his first on this morning, a tractor-trailer clipped English’s basketball net, knocking the rim to the ground. There it lies, on the only road in to, out of, or through the town, and English can’t believe it.
His Aunt Betty is far more concerned about the truck. English’s homemade net, one he constructed himself with his Uncle Junior when he was 10, now hangs over the road a little bit. Initially, the net was constructed at the end of the road but out of the way of traffic that often comes fast and without much caution through the sleepy town of less than 100. English deemed the setup to have too much potential for a twisted ankle, later building a brace that extended the net over the road and further from the edge of the pavement. This, then, was Aunt Betty’s concern—an unfamiliar truck driver had no reasonable expectation of clipping a basketball net on any road, let alone in Patrick’s Cove of all places.
Eventually, the net would become far more familiar to the town, the surrounding areas and tourists on their way to St. John’s or the Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve. As English and his brothers, three of whom lived in nearby Angel’s Cove, excitedly identified out-of-province license plates, drivers kept an eye out for the teenager shooting at the side of the road. English’s self-made net is now the stuff of Canadian basketball legend, an unlikely star who dribbled on ice and grass and gravel to improve his handle, deflated balls to strengthen his forearms, and cut and taped three pairs of shoes together to make homemade Jumpsoles.