Michigan State’s Ben Carter inks deal with pro team overseas


Michigan State enters a long and bitter offseason once more after bowing out in the second round of this year’s NCAA Tournament against Syracuse. The big headlines will revolve around the decisions regarding the futures of some players, specifically freshman Jaren Jackson Jr. and sophomore Miles Bridges.

One Spartan, however, has found an opportunity to play basketball at the professional level. Senior and former grad transfer Ben Carter has reportedly agreed to terms with a professional team in Israel.

The tweet message translates as: “Hapoel “Bank Yahav”, Jerusalem signed Ben Carter (23, 2.03), son of Mike, until the end of the season with an option for the next season.”

Carter just concluded his sixth and final year of college eligibility this season with Michigan State. He first began his collegiate career way back in 2012 at Oregon, spending his first two seasons with the Ducks. He then opted to transfer to UNLV, where he averaged 24 minutes of action in 22 games with the Rebels in 2015-16. That season, however, was shorted due to a knee injury.

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree from UNLV, Carter transferred as a graduate to Michigan State back in May of 2016 for his final year of eligibility. Unfortunately, he missed the entire 2016-17 season due to another knee injury. After being granted another year of eligibility from the NCAA, Carter averaged roughly eight minutes of game action in 22 contests for MSU.

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Carter early on was a solid contributor off the bench for the Spartans, averaging over 12 minutes per game through his first seven games. He then was sparingly used over the next 14 games, playing barely four MPG during that span. After not playing in either of the team’s two conference tournament games, Carter earned 10 minutes of action in their NCAA first-round game against Bucknell and a season-high 23 minutes against Syracuse.

Many questioned the decision by Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo to have Carter playing the high post against the Orange’s zone defense. In those 23 minutes, Carter scored two points, adding two rebounds and two assists.

“Obviously, it’s a bitter feeling going home early,” Carter said after the loss. “But I can look back and say that I’m happy that I was part of such as special group with such special players. I’ll be able to look back and smile to know that I was part of a (Big Ten) championship team. …

“It hurts going home soon, because I thought we were definitely good enough to make a deep run in the tournament and win the national championship. Sometimes, the ball just doesn’t bounce that way.”

Carter, who was born in Tel Aviv while his father Mike was playing professionally in Israel, has dual citizenship and will join the Hapoel Jerusalem Basketball Club, part of the Israeli Basketball Premier League. Hapoel has won the league championship in two of the last three seasons and are the reigning champions.

Carter will be teammates with former Michigan State guard and Orchard Lake St. Mary’s product, Kalin Lucas, who signed with Hapoel back in November.