Senior Breaks Basketball Scoring Record
Bart Flener, head coach of the Asbury University women’s basketball team, clearly remembers watching senior Laura Carroll play basketball for the first time. It was at a summer basketball event and Carroll didn’t stand out among the other high-school girls as the tallest or fastest player on the court.
She just kept scoring.
The Paintsville, Ky., native brought her talent for finding the basket — and the work ethic that developed it — to Asbury in 2009. She kept shooting. She kept improving. And in early January, in the middle of the first game back after a three-week holiday break, she scored her 1,411th point at Asbury and broke the school record for points scored in a career.
“It feels good to break a record,” Carroll said. “But when I came in, there were only freshmen and sophomores, so I got a lot of time at the beginning. I had really good teammates, and things worked out the right way.”
The previous record holder is April Henderson, who graduated in 2005. Carroll began playing for Asbury when the program was in a rebuilding phase, and hard work and commitment have led to success on the court both for her and the team. She shoots 47 percent from the field and has improved her free-throw percentage from 70 percent her freshman year to nearly 95 percent this year. This year’s senior starters were part of Carroll’s recruiting class and helped secure the team’s first Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title, shared with Indiana Southeast, last year.
“Before I came to Asbury, on my high-school team, we went to practice and then went home to our own houses and ate dinner and went to bed,” Carroll said. “But at Asbury, you eat dinner with the girls and go to games and practices together. The girls on the team make me so much better. We’re together all the time, and the closer you get to people, the more things you can accomplish together.”
Carroll comes from a family tradition of basketball: both parents played in college, and both her older and younger sisters have played, as well. She started in second grade and learned from them along the way, taking cues from her mother’s attention to rest, nutrition and preparation, and her father’s on-the-court advice. Through the years, one of the biggest motivators has been her own love for the game.
“I love to practice,” she said. “That’s my favorite part of the game — getting better every day. My dad always said there will always be people who are better than me, but no one should out work me. I try to live by that. I’ve played a long time, and it’s never gotten old.”
An elementary education major, Carroll approaches the end of her college basketball career with both eagerness to see what the future might hold and a lasting appreciation of the lessons she’s learned through basketball. She’s thought about coaching but questions if she has the thick skin she’d need in that role. What is certain is the resolve she shares with her coach to make the game as fun as it is educational.
“Laura is the kind of person we want in our program from a Christian perspective,” Flener said. “She’s going to be an awesome educator with a heart for the kids, but she’s a really fiery competitor, too. When the pressure is most intense, she tends to rise to the top. She loves the game of basketball, and you can tell."