By Bob Vazquez, Assistant Athletics Director, Strategic Communications
Northridge, Calif. – When you walk through Matador Hall, you never know whom you might meet.
"Hello, my name is Markus Carr," said the visitor as he walked through the front door of the building that houses the coaches in the Cal State Northridge athletic department.
Carr is considered the best point-guard in the 55-year history of Matador basketball, and one of the best players in school history, period !!!
"I had a great run (as a player) and as part of a great team (2000-01)," said Carr. "I certainly accept the compliments."
Carr played four seasons at CSUN (1998-02) where his name is heavily peppered throughout the CSUN basketball record book. Carr played in 119 games, and dished out a school record 767 assists. The career assist mark is a school record that may never be broken. Andre Chevalier (1990-94) dished out 481 career assists, 286 assists behind Carr in second place. Other school records include single season assists (286 in 2000-01, #1 in the nation), 15 assists each in games against Wyoming (12/7/00) and Montana State (2/24/01), single game steals with eleven against Dominican (1/20/01), and career games started with 109.
Carr's name appears in the CSUN record book 34 times.
"Coming back to the campus brings back great memories," remembers Carr. "There was something special about the 2000-01 season. I will always remember those special moments. When the team gets together (for a reunion), there is always something new to talk about. The community also still talks about that great season. It's always good to know people remember and appreciate what we did."
Carr, a three-time first team all-conference player in the Big Sky and Big West Conferences, finished his four-year career with 1,173 points, ninth-best in school history.
Carr helped lead the 2000-01 CSUN team to its first trip to the NCAA Tournament. The 22-win season included a Big Sky Conference regular season and tournament titles, and a 78-74 victory over 15th-ranked UCLA at Pauley Pavilion. The win marked CSUN's first-ever victory over UCLA and its first-ever upset over a nationally-ranked team.
The 2000-01 season captured the hearts of the Northridge community and the surrounding areas.
"We came together as a team," said Carr. "We decided that we wanted to be good. We wanted to go to the next level. Off the court, we looked out after each other. We always made sure everybody went to class and got whatever we needed, whether it was just a ride or food, anything. We just jelled in that type of way."
Carr was named co-Most Valuable Player along with Brian Heinle (CSUN Hall of Fame) during CSUN's championship season in 2000-01.
Carr played professional basketball in eight foreign countries (including Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Venezuela, Hungary, Bosnia) in the last eleven years since graduating from Cal State Northridge in 2001. Carr speaks several languages fluently.
Carr, who has now retired, is visiting the United States to promote a program called "Cross Over Nation."
"Cross Over Nation" is a Sport & Entertainment network that organizes and host events throughout Austria. The company itself was to create a social balance between sport and music. The Cross Over Nation basketball camp is for kids 10-to-16 and brings "LA style" basketball to Europe.
"The plan is to bring these programs to the United States," said Carr.
One of his new business partners is Royce Clayton, a former major league shortstop who played 16 seasons with eleven major league teams including the St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox.
Carr's visit to Cal State Northridge gave him the opportunity to meet the Matadors' new head coach Reggie Theus.
"I think coach Theus is a great guy," said Carr. "He welcomed me back home. He has a lot of respect for what we did. I have a lot of respect for where he wants to take the basketball program."
Carr offered a friendly bit of advice to the Matadors team of 2013-14.
"It is about taking the moment and deciding 'do you really want to make this team successful?' You need to make that happen. Get focused. There are a lot of things going on campus, a lot of distractions. Just make it happen. Keep your focus. It will take you a long way."
Carr's Corner …
In CSUN's 78-74 victory over 15th-ranked UCLA during the 2000-01 season, Markus Carr dished out eight assists, scored seven points, grabbed four rebounds, and added two steals … The CSUN victory over UCLA is considered the greatest win in Matador basketball history.