Wendell Carter Jr. Continues To Use His Platform To Empower Youth

BY JOSH COHEN, OrlandoMagic.com

ORLANDO – Wendell Carter Jr., now in his sixth NBA season, has learned throughout his basketball career that it’s essential to be around others who empower and cheer on one another. Without that kind of camaraderie, support, and positive energy, a team could easily crumble.

That’s not been an issue this season for the Orlando Magic, who are nine games over .500 and optimistic about earning a spot in the playoffs. Magic players have said over and over again throughout the year that this team has a very strong bond, which is noticeable on the court.

The 24-year-old Carter has been using his social platform to convey that message. Most important to him is that he wants kids to understand the importance of associating with people that bring positive energy into their lives. By doing so, it increases the chances of accomplishing their goals.

“It doesn’t work if everybody isn’t on the same page, and that goes for anything in life in my opinion,” he said. “You’re in the community, you have family, you have friends – you know that you can work together to kind of relieve stress for one another.”

This was highlighted during Carter’s second annual TopGolf fundraiser on Monday, March 11, which brought awareness to his nonprofit program, A Platform2 Foundation, that provides youth and families with educational programs, resources, and tools to positively impact and elevate their quality of life. The overall foundation goal is to create a learning environment that develops well-informed youth and families who will impact and actively engage in their community. The focus areas of the program are STEM, Financial Literacy, African American History, Social Injustice and Equality Awareness.

During the event, which included rounds of golf on the range, food and a silent auction, the 6-foot-10, 265-pounder made a big announcement, which was that he would be starting a brand-new aviation-based curriculum at nearby Evans High School and Oak Ridge High School.

When he was a kid, Carter aspired to be a pilot. Although it remains an interest of his to this day, which is why he decided to start this curriculum for youth, he got too tall to go down that career path. There are height requirements when it comes to flying a plane.

But now, he will have the opportunity to help others with a similar passion for aviation learn about this field and perhaps one day work in it themselves.

“I think that’s what makes people with a platform special,” he said. “It’s one thing to have a platform and just go out there and worry about yourself, 24/7. I think to make that leap as a person, you are able to bring someone else in with you. If it’s one person or a 100 people – if I’m able to touch the lives in the community that come from similar backgrounds as myself, it just means the world to me.”

Carter, who is now the first professional athlete to ever begin a school curriculum, learned from his parents about the importance of philanthropy at a young age, which is why he established A Platform² Foundation when he entered the NBA. Since then, he has led many community initiatives, including providing Title 1 schools and students with equipment to enhance STEM Aviation programs in Orlando and Atlanta; providing guidance to Boys to Men Mentoring members; leading basketball camps; and distributing holiday meals and gifts to families.

“It’s kind of the foundation of what we do,” Carter’s mom Kylia Carter said. “There is an absolute value in us to help others, and especially those that you can reach. If you can reach somebody, you can help somebody.”

Carter’s efforts through his foundation have been recognized and celebrated by the community and leaders alike. In 2023, he was named the winner of the Rich & Helen DeVos Community Enrichment Award for his work off the court. He was also a finalist for this honor in both 2022 and 2024. Also in 2023, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer presented Carter with the President Volunteer Service Award, a recognition that highlights his impact on the local community and his commitment to creating positive change.

Among the major partners for Monday’s TopGolf event included AdventHealth, Lift Sports Management, the Magic and Rise Capital Family Office.

In 38 games so far this season, Carter is averaging 11.6 points on 53.3 percent overall shooting and a career-best 40.5 percent 3-point shooting. He has also recorded six double-doubles this year, including in Orlando’s most recent game against the Indiana Pacers when he had 13 points and 15 rebounds.