Jaycee Carroll reflects on Cache Valley, basketball and family life in Europe

LOGAN – Just last week Jaycee Carroll was celebrating his team’s basketball championship over FC Barcelona Lassa in Spain’s highest-level basketball league. Now the former Aggie basketball star is back in Cache Valley, relaxing and enjoying the offseason.

It was the former Aggie’s 12th championship with his team, Real Madrid. That includes back-to-back ACB League championships, Euroleague championships, a FIBA Intercontinental Cup and other Spanish tournaments.

“The championships we’ve won and that we hope to continue to win, that doesn’t happen a lot, at any level of sports,” Carroll said. “I’m just really happy, really fortunate for what I’ve been able to do so far.”

It’s an experience Carroll said he hopes to be able to keep doing for a few more years. He said he is enjoying traveling the world with his wife and three daughters. They get to spend about two months out of the year in Logan, but the rest of it is spent in Europe. All three of his daughters were born overseas, the first in Italy, the second in the Canary Islands and the youngest in Madrid.

“They’re basically little European kids,” Carroll said. “They go to Spanish school and they all speak Spanish. It’s been a neat experience to have all little girls grow up with different cultures and different languages.”

For the next few months, Carroll said he is going to enjoy doing the things he can’t do in Spain. He said he will spend time with family and friends, play a lot of golf and visit his alma mater. He is also planning on visiting with the newest generation of Aggie basketball players, shooting some hoops with them and answering any questions they have.

“I tell them is nothing is given away,” he said. “You’ve got to work hard, you’ve got to practice hard and you need to learn to do things the right way. Being a good person and a good basketball player can get you a long way in the world of basketball, but it all starts with your work ethic, your personality and the way you carry yourself.”

Carroll hopes to spend a few more years traveling and playing basketball, but plans on eventually ending up back in Logan.

“(Logan) is just a really great city, a great environment for where we want to be,” he said. “My wife and I both went to college here, we have a lot of friends here, our families are nearby, her family is a half hour away, mine is a couple hours away. It just really ended up being a place we love in Cache Valley and are looking forward down the road to making this our permanent home.”

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