No Stranger to Change – The Journey of Charles Carmouche

When asked what comes next in his life, Charles Carmouche simply shrugs and nonchalantly says, “I’m not sure, but I know I’ll be ready for it.”

Take a look at the last six years of his life, and it’s not surprising that confidence and maturity emanate from his slender, 6-foot-three frame.

“My life has been a roller coaster ride to say the least,” Carmouche said.

When Hurricane Katrina throttled New Orleans in August of 2005, Carmouche’s life and family were uprooted in ways he could have never imagined. Just as he was about to begin his sophomore season at St. Augustine High School in the Big Easy, he was forced to move to Houston to escape the aftermath of the hurricane.

Instead of viewing it as a negative, Carmouche took the change in stride and actually credits the move with making him a better basketball player.

“The competition level in Houston was on another level,” Carmouche explained. “Guys that would be a big man in New Orleans would be a guard in Houston. It really helped my game.”

Once things settled down, he and his family moved back to New Orleans, where Carmouche enrolled at McMain High School for his junior and senior years. After proving himself at McMain, Carmouche inked a scholarship with hometown school New Orleans, thinking he would be there to stay.

Just two seasons later, Carmouche was blindsided with another obstacle—UNO was dropping to Division III, which meant no more athletic scholarships. Again, Carmouche found the change to be a good thing and focused on the positives.

“It actually worked out for the best,” Carmouche said. “Memphis called me, and I couldn’t find any negatives toward the program. I knew this was the place for me.”

After transferring and enrolling at the U of M, Carmouche made an immediate impact in his first season donning the blue and gray. He started 28 of 32 games and averaged 7.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists for a Memphis team that won the Conference USA Championship and narrowly lost to Arizona in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

This season, Carmouche is ready to step things up a notch and become a leader for the Tigers, who are ranked No. 9/11 to start the preseason. Though the Final Four was the goal last year, Carmouche has motivation to work even harder to get there in 2011-12 as his hometown, New Orleans, is home to the final weekend of this year’s NCAA Tournament.

“To play back at home for a national title in front of my friends and family in New Orleans after everything we’ve been through would be incredible,” Carmouche said. “I’m going to do everything I can this season to make it happen.”

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About pmccllln

21 years young. Senior PR student at the University of Memphis. Student intern for Memphis Athletic Media Relations. www.prestonmcclellan.weebly.com. Follow me @p_mcclellan.

Posted on November 1, 2011, in C-USA Basketball, features, Memphis Athletics, memphis tigers and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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