Tony Carr declares for NBA draft

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Inside of a packed media room at the Bryce Jordan Center Monday afternoon Penn State sophomore Tony Carr declared his intent to enter the NBA Draft.

Seated at the podium with his mother Nicole, father, Tony Sr. and Penn State head coach Patrick Chambers, Carr looked out on the crowded room to the familiar faces of his teammates.

"To be able to say something like that in front of my teammates, in front of the media, in front of my family, it's just a great feeling to be able to put in the hard work that's going to take me to chasing my dreams," Carr said. "I feel great right now."

For Carr, the opportunity to begin chasing his dreams became a tangible reality throughout the season. As information came in, Chambers relayed those messages to Carr, who thanked his head coach but opted to remain present.

Carr was laser focused on the task at hand and staying present ever since the offseason, where he transformed his body to put himself in prime position for what was to come.

"He worked so hard in the offseason," Chamber said moments after cutting down the nets in celebration of Penn State's first NIT title since 2009. "He put on 25 pounds and he needed to begin to trust and he started to trust. He started to believe and he trusted his teammates. You can see his assists have skyrocketed. He really shared the ball. You go back to the Ohio State game in the Garden on that Friday night where you know he wants to take the shot, I want him to take the shot but doesn't take the shot and that's a kid who has grown. We talk about growth mindset. We talk about growing and emerging leadership, and I think Tony embodies all of that."

Mindset is exactly what changed when you ask Carr where his journey saw its turning point.

"I felt like from the first game of the season, I took my game to a higher level and I just wanted to continue to show that through all 39 games and I feel like I did a good job of that and it has me in the position where I am today," Carr said.

The 2017-18 season certainly saw its fair share of ups and downs, but with each instance of adversity, Carr was present to lead the response, often with some of his best performances of the season.

Perhaps one of his best coming on the road at then-No. 13 Ohio State, in a display that no Penn State Tony Carr story will likely ever be without.

In the final seconds, Carr launched a 3-pointer to lift the Nittany Lions to an 82-79 victory, marking a win against Penn State's highest-ranked opponent on the road since 2009. 

The All-Big Ten first team selection registered four 30-point games during the season, one also coming in the second meeting against the Buckeyes. He led the team with 30 points as the Nittany Lions defeated then-No. 8/9 Ohio State. 

As Chambers noted though, from the electric road win in Columbus on through the NIT title game, Penn State was played perhaps its best basketball in a long time.

With the season complete though, Carr could weigh his options.

"Once I heard the feedback from the scouts and from coach, this decision was pretty much a no-brainer for me," Carr said. "Just to be able to chase my dream, to be able to leave a legacy here like I did at Penn State. We just won an NIT championship so for everything to fall into place at the right time was great for me."

As much of a no-brainer as the scenario was, the decision didn't come easy. Surrounded by his teammates, coaches and family though, there's nothing but love for the Nittany Lion who came in and set the standard for those to come.

"When you make a tough decision like this you need the support of the ones close to you and I feel like the ones close to me have been giving me great support throughout my 20 years of life," Carr said. "For all of them to be there to support me on this big day just felt great."

Last Updated April 06, 2018