U of A Freshman Takes his Love of the Game to Print


A rare nerve disorder led a U of A freshman to turn the dream of writing a book into a reality.JohnnyCarver333x400

The book, titled “Ranketology,” ranks NBA legacies based on a statistical system Johnny Carver, a University of Arkansas freshman, created to determine the greatest player in the NBA and took over a year to finish and self-publish.

Carver grew up in Olathe, Kansas, surrounded by basketball. His dad and brother both played. “It runs in my family, I’ve always been obsessed with it,” Carver said. Carver started memorizing NBA draft orders when he was only 6 years old. Prior to Carver’s senior season, he was faced with a disorder that halted his playing career. Carver used writing about basketball as his outlet since he could no longer play.

“I just want to be involved with basketball for the rest of my life,” he said.

Carver had no connection to the U of A previously, and decided to attend because he was attracted to the business college and the possibility of getting involved in the athletic program. Carver received the Board of Directors Scholarship, which grants him $10,000 over four years.

“The scholarship has helped me a lot financially and made me feel wanted at the University, it’s a very narrow scholarship that not a lot of people are offered,” Carver said.

Carver is majoring in business management with a minor in sports management. He spends a lot of his time marketing his book and speaking with NBA organizations to gain a better understanding of what it takes to work in basketball operations, but still manages to stay involved at the U of A. Carver was selected to be a member of the application based organization, Leadership Walton and is one of five Business College freshman selected by faculty to serve on the Dean’s Advisory Board for the Walton College.

Carver said his favorite memory of freshman year was when Razorback basketball player, Bobby Portis, hit a game winning shot and after he hit the shot, he came into the crowd and took a picture with him. “It was a really cool experience to be that up close and personal with the basketball program,” Carver said.

Carver writes for The Midlevel Exceptional covering the business analytics of the NBA and has been able to do a number of interviews with NBA organizations. “It’s helped me grow and understand more sides than just what is done on the court,” he said.

Carver is also a finalist for the LA Clippers basketball analytics internship.

Carver said he’s taking things one-step at a time. He sends a copy of his book and resume to NBA teams. He has received lots of positive feedback from players such as Larry Bird, “he loved the idea and loved the book,” Carver said. Carver hopes update the book at the end of each season.

“The biggest thing for me is getting connected with NBA organization. Right now I’m focused on progressing with my career,” Carver said.

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