Thursday, February 16, 2012

On a basketball court, the offense is only as good as the player who distributes the ball. The point guard is like the quarterback, and she brings the ball up court, calls the plays, finds open players, and most of the time is the most unselfish player on the court. NGU Coach Jayne Arledge has coached a full list of solid point guards during her tenure at North Greenville, but when it comes to distributing the basketball, Christina Carlis has cemented herself as the best in school history.

Carlis, a native of McDonough, GA (Union Grove High School), is one of three senior captains, and became NGU’s all-time assists leader with 363 in a recent game. She broke the record on February 8th, with her 363rd dish breaking the mark set by Nikki Wood in 2010. In 2009, her first season at NGU, Carlis played in all 28 games, starting in 15. She registered 72 assists as a freshman, and was third on the team in scoring with 243 points.

“When I came to school, my biggest goal was to be the first person in my family to graduate from a four-year university, and that is what is most important to me,” Carlis said. “On the court, I just wanted to play my game, and do what I can do to help my team.”

During the 2010-2011 season, Carlis took full control of the Crusader offense. She had her best season of her career, dishing out 88 assists, and was second on the team with 264 points. Carlis was also a top defender for the Crusaders with 41 takeaways.

On and off the court, Carlis has helped to set a new standard at North Greenville. “Our upperclassmen do a great job setting an example for our young girls,” says Coach Arledge. “Christina works hard; she comes early and stays late. That shows our younger players, that if you work hard, you can accomplish a lot.”

Growing up, Carlis says she was always the best athlete on the court, and according to Coach Arledge, that hasn’t changed. “Chris has been a key part in making us so successful. Besides being our quarterback on offense, she is always the best athlete on the floor, and does many things very well.” Carlis, on top of the possessing the assists record, will have a chance to get 1000 career points as well. “She has had a very successful career, and will be hard to replace,” Arledge concluded.

Carlis was born in Brooklyn, New York, but came to North Greenville from Union Grove High School, in McDonough, Georgia. Carlis signed with NGU after being offered a scholarship following a solid performance at an NGU hosted tryout. “Honestly, I was verbally committed to Stetson University, but there were some external issues there, so I came to NGU’s tryout, and Coach Arledge offered me when it was over.”

Carlis reached another milestone in her career on February 14th when she scored her 1000th career point.

It’s no coincidence that Christina Carlis’ best season also coincides with North Greenville’s unprecedented run towards a Conference Carolinas championship in its first season as a member. Carlis is averaging 11.2 points per game and 6.3 rebounds per game, but more importantly, has 110 assists (5.1 per game), and is she continues to deal the ball to her teammates, score consistently and play the ferocious defense she’s known for, the Crusaders may in line for unprecedented success in the post-season.