Silver Creek, St. Bonaventure and ABA Basketball Star
One of the greatest athletes to ever emerge from Western New York, George Carter’s credentials for the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame are confirmed with this simple, but comprehensive statement: “The only athlete born in Western New York, who was a multi-sport All-Western New York selection, starred at a local college, had a lengthy professional career and was drafted by three major professional sports teams.”
Carter initially made his mark as a multi-sport standout at Silver Creek High School in the early 60’s. He was a two-time all WNY selection in basketball, earned similar recognition for one season of football and was the section’s top 100 yard sprinter. Because of his prowess on the basketball court, The Buffalo News placed him on their all-time 2nd team and their all-1960’s first team.
He took his talents down the road to Olean where he would lead the Bonnies in scoring for two years and in rebounding for three seasons. The 6-4 forward averaged 19.4 points and 12.4 rebounds over that time and still ranks 22nd in career points with 1,322 and 5th in total boards with 849. His career rebounding average is second only to Bob Lanier. Carter was inducted into the St. Bonaventure Hall of Fame in 1974.
Upon graduation, George was drafted by the Detroit Pistons with the 81st pick in the 1967 draft. He was also selected by the Buffalo Bills in the 13th round and by the New York Mets in the 52nd round (874th overall).
Carter’s professional basketball career was spent on many fronts. Although drafted by the Pistons, he played only one game before serving a two year military commitment. When he returned, George went directly to the ABA where he became an all-star and played alongside some of the great players in pro basketball history. During his seven seasons in the league with eight different franchises, “Dirty Dingus” as he was called, averaged over 18 points and nearly seven rebounds in 478 games. Known for his short-range jumper and lightning quick first step along the baseline, the explosive Carter was second in scoring to Charlie Scott for the 1971-72 Virginia Squires and played alongside Julius Erving for one season.
He continued his pro career in France for a short time after the demise of the ABA and was inducted into the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame in 1984.