Mission helps shape Carroll

Posted by Drew Packham

LAS VEGAS — Getting rejected by NBA teams is nothing for Jaycee Carroll.

Carroll, a 27-year-old guard who has spent the last two seasons overseas, has a little experience in rejection.

As a 19-year-old, Carroll spent two years as a Mormon missionary in the streets of Santiago Chile.
Complete Summer League coverage on NBA.com

“Honestly, I’ve learned how to deal with rejection,” Carroll said after finishing his stint with the Knicks in Las Vegas. “Walking through the streets, you get a ton of people saying, ‘Leave me alone.’ Here, you can get discouraged easily when you sit on the bench an entire game or when you’re trying to get a deal done with a team and they say, ‘We’re just not interested.’

“It can really get you down if you don’t see things in a positive light, and I really learned that on my mission,” Carroll said.

Carroll was impressive in Orlando, averaging 14.8 points in four games for the Celtics, showing off a nice jump shot with an ability to get into the lane for the floater. In Vegas, Carroll’s playing time was limited and he averaged just 6.5 points in 11.3 minutes per game.

Carroll has spent the last two seasons in Europe, first with Teramo of the Italian league, where he averaged 16.4 points. This past season, Carroll averaged 19.1 points while playing for Gran Canarias in the Spanish league.

The 27-year-old — who claims his “basketball age” is actually 25 if you consider his two years off — has enjoyed life on the European circuit with the help of his wife and 1-year-old daughter.

“They like it,” said Carroll, who played collegiately at Utah State. “They’re troopers and really they like everywhere we end up. We were on an island by the beach in the Canaries, so you can’t beat that.”

While Carroll’s ultimate goal is to get a guaranteed contract with an NBA team, he has a few offers on the table from European teams. If the call from the NBA doesn’t come, though, you can bet he’ll be just fine, thanks to his mission experience.

“[The mission] helped me have a good positive outlook on things,” Carroll said. “I’ve been through a lot more difficult times than playing basketball.”


  1. Jake Berlin says:

    Good luck Jaycee! Way to represent Utah and Mormons in general. You’re a class act, and thank you Drew Packham for taking the time to write a nice article like this.

  2. Ben says:

    I served with him in Chile and he was the most dedicated missionary there was. He never really practiced basketball while was there and stayed focused on helping other people.

  3. RichOa says:

    dang I was reading this and then I saw the comment and now it makes me want to go outside. And work 10 times hard on my game. Hahahaaha

  4. Tyler says:

    I’m a student at Utah State and was while Jaycee was still here. I loved watching him play here at the Spectrum. He is an amazing player and a great person too. He would definitely help any team that he lands on for the better. Good luck Jaycee!!

  5. Eric says:

    Saw this guy play while I was at Utah State. The man is a BALLER and an equally good person at heart. Good luck Jaycee.

  6. Dan 09 says:

    Jaycee is the hardest working and classiest potential NBA player there is. I remember a story about his summer workouts where he kept track of every shot he took, it was somewhere around 100k. I’ve met him a couple of times very briefly and he was just polite as can be. He works harder than anyone and would build the character of any team.

  7. Daniel says:

    I love this article! It is awesome to see a guy like Jaycee get recognized for what he does on and off the court. I really hope that he gets picked up this year, he is an amazing basketball player and a hard worker.

  8. Ken B says:

    Thanks for the great article! AS a USU Aggie, we are all very proud of Carrol and hope his quest ends successfully with an NBA team. He also married into a great, hard working family and wish them the best!

  9. Gianluca8Gallo says:

    I’m italian and i live near Teramo. I think Jaycee is a fantastic shooting guard and a great player for the New York Knicks. Let’s go Knicks!!!!!! Let’s go Gallo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Dwight B says:

    I honestly I think he is a third pg or sg in the NBA. he could fit in the d’toni system perfectly and be instant offense.
    He could take the role kinda Nate Robinson or Barbosa but not as electric. He has worked on his handle and court awareness so I say gave the young man a chance wats a league minimum deal for a player that you know will bring some type of threat to your team when he is on the floor. The league take bigger risk then Carroll every draft (Orton) and at least two of his year’s are going to be guaranteed. Carroll On the right team could do a lil damage (Miami) (N.Y) (Bulls) (Bobcats) Few others given the opportunity.

  11. Aggiesalltheway says:

    I guarantee that if an NBA team signs Jaycee they will not regret it. If he gets a chance he’ll make the most of it. He always has.

  12. Kenyon Finch says:

    This is a very amazing and inspring story. This article highlights a good young man in professional basketball; the NBA should strive to highlight people like this. I am very pleased to see an article of this quality at the front of nba.com.

  13. averagedunker says:

    This is a positive story. It’s good to see players looking at things from a big perspective. There’s so many good players out there and really not that many teams to get on. I’d like to see the D-league continue to expand so that more players can play here at home, and at the same time for smaller cities to get the opportunity to have a pro team to cheer for. I hope this guy gets picked up though. He’s a good baller.

  14. rey77bahian says:

    I really admire this guy. I too served a mission here in our country, Philippines Baguio mission. It;s worth all the sacrifice.

  15. Kyle says:

    Good job keeping a positive attitude! That’s a mature young man there. Always a good asset on any team.

  16. Taga-Pasay says:

    he sure can get a basketball job soon, maybe not now. or probably the Jazz can give him a try. Or there are a lot of job outside basketball.

  17. Dan says:

    Dang. This article really just helped me out. I’m also a Mormon and am planning to serve a mission just like this guy did. And my number 1 goal is to play in the NBA. It would be a dream come true for me. But I was always wondering if serving a mission would hinder my chances of playing in the NBA. After reading this thing, I not only know that I’d still be able to get a shot at the NBA, but serving a mission would also help me deal with what would come with such a life style. I’ll definitely be looking up to this guy as an example for myself. And I hope my dream is eventually realized!