LYNCHBURG, Va. — Former WildCat basketball standout Tara Carleton has joined the elite ranks of women playing professional basketball. Carleton, a member of the Class of 2000, recently signed a contract with the NW London Amazons of the National Basketball League of England. She made her professional debut on December 1st.
Acting without an agent, Carleton relied on countless phone calls, e-mails, and visits to team representatives and league officials to make her case. Her persistence paid off and helped her earn a slot on the Amazons roster despite tight league restrictions on the number of foreign players on any given team.
Carleton also believes her time spent under the tutelage of R-MWC Head Basketball Coach Melissa Wiggins has played a major role in her success. “She took the time to work with me individually and help me get where I needed to be in my conditioning for tryouts after R-MWC,” she said. “I learned to push past what I thought my mental and physical limitations were.”
Carleton’s R-MWC career was an unprecedented success. She holds 23 WildCat basketball records, including most games played, most career points, and highest career free throw percentage, and was a member of the First-Team All-ODAC Basketball Squad for three consecutive years. She was ODAC Rookie of the Year in 1997, and was named as both the Virginia Sports Information Director’s Player of the Year and the ODAC Player of the Year in the following season. She also earned honorable mentions on both the Kodak All-American and Successful Farming All-American teams in 1998-1999.