One of Miami Heat's 61st picks in the 2016 draft is Michael Carrera, a senior from the University of South Carolina's Gamecocks basketball team. Perhaps he will have the same success as last year's 4-year college veteran and second-round draft selection, Josh Richardson.
Carrera worked out for seven NBA teams this summer in hopes of getting drafted by one of them: Charlotte Hornets, Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Atlanta Hawks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Boston Celtics and Utah Jazz.
Born in Venezuela, he will play for the national team this summer in the Rio Olympic Games. Venezuela is playing the United States on June 29 in a preliminary game. After that he will participate in the Summer League, which starts July 2-8 in Orlando and continues July 8-18 in Las Vegas, under the careful eyes of the Heat's coaches.
Per the Columbia Post and Courier, his coach Frank Martin says scouts have told him Carrera’s ability to shoot from distance, and defend from the point guard through the small forward spots, "...is what makes him attractive. If you think about who he was as a freshman, to think four years later, that’s what NBA folks describe him as — it gets me excited that we tried to do the right things with him, and he did the right things to make himself a better player."
In a feature on the Gamecocks web site Carrera says, "In professional basketball, you have to have mental toughness. I think that is something that Frank [Martin] has, and he puts in your head. If you follow what he says, he’s going to help you out, no matter what. Every single coach that I’ve talked to said they love Frank because of how tough he is, and he tells you straight up what is going on. That’s a plus for me because they know I played for him for four years. He’s going to strive to make you better every single day."
SB Nation's GABA site wrote a funny article on his many faces during his career in the University of South Carolina, which happens to be just south, on Interstate 77, from North Carolina's native son Hassan Whiteside.
By the way, his agent is Miami-based Seth Cohen, who introduced him to the Miami lifestyle, where being fluent in Spanish helps.
His collegiate stat line shows a dramatic improvement in his last season, though it should be pointed out that seniors compete against many one-and-done, first-year kids out of high school. Advantages in experience and age may be a part of college senior's success against younger and more raw competition.
Some miscellaneous information about him includes,
- Originally from Anzoátegui, Venezuela
- Son of Luis Carrera and Katherine Gamboa
- Lists Brazil as the place he would most like to visit, while his favorite food is pasta and arepas and pasta with chicken
- Favorite NBA team is the LA Lakers with Kobe Bryant listed as his favorite professional basketball player
- Major is sociology