The future of pool lies in the hands of our youth. They can either make or break our great sport, and many in today’s society grow up without good influences to push them in the right direction. It was refreshing and inspiring to be involved with this interview because Joshua Carter is unlike many of today’s youth. He is a man of God and has a great attitude and outlook on life. He is a great upcoming player in Arkansas and gives me hope for the future of our sport. Within two weeks of doing this interview he had won the TAP Arkansas Invitational 2-4 handicap bracket. So the future is bright and the sky is the limit for this young man.
I loved working with Joshua and learning about him and his game. He will soon be moving to my home state so I look forward to meeting, and hopefully competing against this up and comer. If more people shared his passion for pool, and the values instilled in him growing up. Then our sport will grow out of the image of hustlers and seedy pool halls. Joshua Carter is a senior at Benton High School in Arkansas and his favorite classes are JROTC and AP 2D and design. Joshua would like to thank his sponsor Spanky Custom Cues for believing in him and providing the support that allows him to grow. Now onto the Question and Answer portion of our interview.
Q: When did you first pick up a cue? And how long afterwards did you start to play competitively?A: Josh first picked up a cue two years ago on his 16th birthday and started playing competitively around 3 months later.
Q: What kind of equipment do you use? (Playing cue, Break cue, Case, Etc)A: Josh’s playing cue is a Spanky Custom and Break/Jump cue is also a Spanky Custom. He carries an all white Vincitore 3×6 Vinyl case.
Q: Do you have a home pool room? If so, where?
Q: What are some of your notable achievements?A: 2017 TAP league Most Improved and 2018 Arkansas TAP league MVP
Q: Who has helped mentor or inspire your game?A: Josh’s father Jimmy Carter has helped mentor him and inspired him to improve and play the right way. He was the reason he acquired the desire to play and get better.
Q: Does it get tough balancing school, pool and your social life, along with any other sports or hobbies?A: It is very hard to balance school, pool, social life along with church and basketball. I struggle but pray and pull through.
Q: What is your favorite discipline?A: My favorite disciplines are 9 ball, Straight Pool and One Pocket.
Q: Do you have any sponsors currently?A: Josh’s only sponsor at the present moment is Spanky Custom Cues.
Q: What is your favorite aspect of the cue sports?A: My favorite thing about pool is the support system of the leagues. New players can gain a family with a good league and reap the benefits of friendship and teamwork, along with the value of teamwork.
Q: Do you play/ prefer league or tournament play and why?A: I love league play but I prefer tournaments and focusing on those because I feel it keeps my competitive mindset clear.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish for your game and the sport as a whole?A: I hope to be the best that I can possibly be and then some. I also want to further expose the game more for how fun and beneficial it can be.
Q: Who is your favorite player to watch?A: Josh’s favorite player to watch is Billy Thorpe. His other favorite to watch was the late Willie Mosconi.
Q: What are the biggest strengths and weaknesses in your game?A: The biggest strengths in my game are my mental game, concentration, ability to learn, a powerful stroke and my ability to never give up or give in. My biggest weaknesses are inexperience and an inconsistent break.
Q: As a newer player where do you see pool heading?A: I see the sport moving to streaming online instead of ESPN where it should be.
Q: What is your most memorable moment from competing?A: It was a scotch doubles tournament, I was right next to the 6 ball and sitting in the corner pocket and I was shooting at the 8 and could only see maybe 3/4 of the ball. I cross banked the 8 in the side to win the match and get into the money. I had to ask my Dad and he agreed it was a very memorable moment for me.
Q: What would be the one piece of advice you would give to other aspiring players?A: The one piece of advice that I would give would be to never give up, and always push through even when it feels it’s not paying off.
Josh has great character and his never give up attitude will do well for him in the world of pool, where he will constantly be tested. His influence and example are exactly what we need to grow our sport and bring it to a better place. I wish him all the luck and may the rolls go his way. This young man deserves it!