Heather Douglas Carter was an outstanding basketball player for the Lipscomb Lady Bisons, playing her junior and senior years for the Purple and Gold. As a staff member with the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) she returns to campus and Allen Arena for the Division 2 basketball championships. Athletics is a never-ending job, but Heather was able to spend some time this week with lipscombsports.com.
What years did you play basketball at Lipscomb? Who were your coaches?
"I played from 1997-99. I was a shooting guard.
"I transferred from Freed-Hardeman after playing two years there.
"Frank Bennett was the head coach. April Ezell and Billy Snell were the assistant coaches."
Why did you decide to transfer to Lipscomb?
"Lipscomb was always a school that I looked up to growing up. I went to games there. I never dreamed I would have the chance to play there one day, but when the opportunity arose I couldn't pass it up.
"It was closer to home. My parents are in Hendersonville. The timing of it really worked out well. Lipscomb was a school I really respected."
What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?
"There are a lot of them.
"For me personally, it would be when I reached the 1,000-point milestone. That was a pretty special moment. It happened against McKendree University from Illinois in January of 1999.
"I was very fortunate my senior year to have the opportunity to go play in Hawaii. That was an awesome experience. We just played one game. It was against Oklahoma Baptist. Even though they were from Oklahoma they had become a big rival for us.
"We beat them. It was an awesome atmosphere. It was a lot of fun.
"I still have a souvenir from the trip. I broke a finger in that game. I still have a crooked pinkie. I am reminded of that trip often.
"Of course, going to the NAIA Tournament every year was an awesome experience. We didn't come away with quite the goals we had in mind, but we still had a good time.
"I also remember my good buddy Chuck Ross. He and his pre-game speeches are definitely some of my most memorable moments."
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?
"I think that is easily Coach Bennett. He is an unbelievable person. He taught so much more than what we learned on the basketball court.
"There are so many things I learned from him that I still use today whether on my job, in my marriage or with my kids.
"I still have all of the notebooks that we wrote in. There are all kinds of motivational and spiritual pieces that he gave us to put in the notebooks. I still reference them from time to time.
"I don't know if I remember specific things that he said. It was just the way he treated us. He had such patience. I had rarely seen that from a coach before. He was stern, but he didn't talk down to us or make us feel small. He just had a great way of teaching through discipline. He led by example.
"My parents (Linda and Gil Douglas), obviously, were my biggest supporters. I couldn't have done what I did without them. My Mom would sometimes drive two hours to bring me something I had forgotten. It was just a matter of them being there for me."
What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?
"Probably the total experience of getting to live with your teammates. That was priceless. We were a family. We were together 95 percent of the time.
"We did some goofy things living in the dorm. For some reason we used to go to Goodwill or hit up our parents' closets and put together the most hideous outfits we could come up with. We would actually go out in public dressed in our costumes. We went to the Krispy Kreme on Thompson Lane many times. We looked hideous. There was no telling what they thought about us.
"There was pressure in class and on the court so we had some fun. I played on the same team with the Stark sisters - Anna, Amelia and Rachel. Most of the ideas like the costumes probably came from them."
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?
"I would say the overall experience of being a student-athlete taught me time management. I had so many responsibilities. I had to learn how to work under pressure.
"You were doing homework and studying on a bus. It would be dark on the way back from games. Then you would have to get up early for class.
"It taught me how to discipline myself, manage my time and how to work under pressure. You take those things with you. I use them today in my professional life."
Who was your favorite professor? Why?
"I was a Business Management major with a Marketing minor.
"I remember John Crawford taught a marketing class. He really got me interested in marketing.
"Charles Frasier taught accounting. He was as tough as he could be, but I really enjoyed it. I really liked his personality.
"Patti Dugger taught one of my first business classes. I remember writing and doing a lot of typing in her class. I really liked her."
Where do you live now?
Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?
"The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA). I am an administrative assistant. I have been there a little more than 10 years. My main responbilities are overseeing the TSSAA Hall of Fame, helping answer eligibility questions, working with financial aid for the independent schools and assisting in media relations."
Tell us about your family.
"My husband is named Jim. We have been married for 14 years. He is the head baseball coach at Goodpasture.
"We have a son named Cole who is 12 and in the sixth grade at Goodpasture. We have a daughter, Rylee, who is 9 and in the third grade at Goodpasture."
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.