Kait Carter doesn’t spend much time sitting around.
The junior at Penn Charter has been known to spend as much time as she can playing sports. The Parkwood resident is a three-sport star at Penn Charter and when she was in eighth grade, she was on five different basketball teams.
But this summer, she had to take an extended break. It wasn’t one she wanted.
Carter was playing AAU ball when she set a pick. An opponent ran into her with her elbow, and Carter broke her clavicle. The injury didn’t just send her to the bench, it sent her to the operating room.
“I missed all of the summer and then the beginning of soccer,” said Carter, who is the goalie. “They had to put screws and plates in there. It wasn’t too bad, but I couldn’t play for a while.”
She returned for soccer and when that season came to a close, she was back on the hardwood. Obviously it wasn’t easy getting back to the place where she suffered the injury, but it didn’t take her long to get back into the swing of things.
“I was a little scared until I (set my first pick) and after I did that, I was fine,” said Carter, who also plays lacrosse at Penn Charter. “I spent a few days getting my shot back. It didn’t take me long. Now I’m back, I feel great.”
That’s good news for her, and bad news for opponents.
Carter is scoring 11 points a game for the Quakers, who are 14-3 on the season, including 2-1 in the Inter-Ac.
Four of those victories came in Arizona, where the Quakers went 4-0 in a prestigious Christmas tournament.
“I’ve traveled a lot for AAU, but it was fun to go out there with Penn Charter,” said Carter, who has also played in Arizona, Florida, Washington, Chicago, Virginia and Hershey. “We played really good teams out there, and that got us ready for the Inter-Ac. I think we’ve played great competition, and that makes us better. And it was fun to go to Arizona.”
It was also fun for Carter because she’s right back to being the top scorer she was last year.
Carter has been a sniper since she started playing with her brother, Matt, who was a standout at MaST Charter and is now playing at Gwynedd Mercy University. So she’s used to putting up big numbers. But just as she’s been doing every year, she is adding to her game and becoming a well-rounded player.
“My brother was a great shooter, so that’s what I started doing when I started playing,” Carter said. “I’m working on everything else. It helps to have good teammates, so I can work on defense, passing and all of the other things you need to do. I still like scoring and if I have a shot, I’ll take it, but if someone is in better position, I’ll pass it.”
Her coach, Joe Maguire, likes what he’s seen from his team leader.
“Kait is very versatile, she can shoot, she’s a good rebounder, defender and a willing passer,” said Maguire, who helped Judge win a Catholic League championship in 1998 before graduating in 2000. “She’s been a captain for two years, so she brings the leadership, how she practices and verbally, she has no problem talking.
“The girls voted her captain. Everyone could vote for two or three people and they picked her. We were young last year, we had no seniors, but the girls look up to her and they still do. It’s good to have a player like her.”
The leadership role is one Carter takes very seriously, and she does her best to live up to the expectations her coach and teammates have for her in that role.
“It meant a lot to be picked captain,” Carter said. “I’ve always tried to help players, but now that I’m a junior, I like helping the younger players. We have two seniors on the team who do the same thing. We’re young, but we’re really talented. And if anyone needs any help, I’m happy to help them. I’ve had help, and it’s made me a better player.”
And when she helps her teammates, it helps Carter.
The Inter-Ac is once again one of the toughest leagues around, but Carter has high expectations.
She believes her team can be atop the division when the season ends, and the better her teammates play, the better the chance the Quakers have at winning the crown.
Carter knows they have the talent to hang a banner, but she also knows it will take more than talent to make that happen.
“We’re playing well as a team,” said Carter, who has a chance to hit join the 1,000-point club this year. “I think we’ve gotten better every game. We have a really good team, and I think this team can accomplish a lot.”