Profile: Tony Carter
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
College Experience: NCAA Division I – Howard University
Position: Community Program Manager
Atlanta native Tony Carter grew up playing nearly every sport made available to him. He played on the school basketball, baseball, and soccer teams, and joined friends in his neighborhood for games of pick-up basketball. Basketball – not soccer – was THE sport to play for kids in the area where he was raised, but Tony could not shake the love he was developing for the game of soccer.
Growing up, Carter sought out professional soccer players across the world who were of the same race as him and closely followed the careers of black soccer players like Shaka Hislop, Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke, and Thierry Henry. As he sought out athletes who looked like him and had success on an international level playing the game he loved, it inspired Carter through his school years and would eventually spark his passion which led to his career.
After playing youth soccer at programs like the South Dekalb YMCA, as a kid and for his high school soccer team, Carter went on to play soccer for Howard University, where Shaka Hislop played, in Washington, D.C. It was here that struck his love for the beautiful game of soccer - and specifically a love for seeing his idols sharing the same passion.
By playing on a diverse team with people from all over the world, Carter was able to see that anyone could prosper in the sport – no matter what country, situation, or background the person came from – as long as some sort of ball had been placed in front of their feet, they could learn how to play the game.
Carter was searching for groups, organizations, or clubs in the city of Atlanta that would help get kids excited about the game of soccer. He wanted to find somewhere that emphasizes growing the game of soccer for kids in Atlanta – and especially kids like himself – as much as football or basketball which are usually emphasized. He found that place in Soccer in the Streets.
“Through my coaching and continuous pursuit of coaching licenses, I am able to share the knowledge once given to me by my coaches, peers and role models. I hope to spark a passion for the game of soccer to these kids,” Carter said.
As a Community Program Manager, Carter is able to go into different communities in Atlanta and bring kids onto the soccer fields. He is tasked with learning about current soccer opportunities in the city, developing programs for kids in the West Side and coaching the Vine City team.