Cochran Native Helps Wichita State to Elite 8

Cochran Native Helps Wichita State to Elite 8

Wichita State senior Carl Hall's family and high school basketball coach talk about his team's unlikely trip to the Elite 8.

COCHRAN, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - The Wichita State Shockers are heading to the Elite 8. 

A big reason for that is 6'8", 238-pound Carl Hall.  The senior is averaging 12 points a game in the Shockers' shocking tournament run.

"If you talk to him, it's like it's not a big deal," says Jackie Fields, Carl's mother.  "It's, 'We're doing good,' you know? 'We're doing good,' because he's a team player.  It's never about you doing good; we're doing good."

"It's been a long journey for me," says Hall.  "I'm blessed to be in this situation with Coach Marshall and the players that are around me, so I'm just trying to take advantage.  It's like I'm in a dream still."

Hall was diagnosed with heart disease as a teenager and forced to sit out from the sport he loved, so he got a job at Lithonia in Cochran, until doctors told him he could play basketball again.

That's when he went to Northwest Florida State, where he caught Wichita State's attention.

"You knew he had talent," says Bleckley County High School basketball head coach, Clifford Kerbo.  "When I first met him, I knew he had just a world of talent.  It was just a matter of corralling him in a way to show him that his best basketball was way beyond high school, and you can tell now he's taking it to another level."

When we asked the family what it's like to watch Wichita State's games on television, Hall's mother, sister and brother said they have different routines.

"Most of the time, I'm in my pajamas--my Wichita pajamas, says Fields. "And I'm watching it by myself."

"I'm the one running around the house," says Carl's sister, Quanesha Hall.  "I'm jumping up, screaming at the TV."

"I try not to watch it," says Tavon Ross, Carl's younger brother, who is currently quarterback for Bleckley County's football team.  Why not?  "I don't know.  I just don't like watching it.  It's a hard game, you know?"

The Shockers take on Ohio State Saturday night at 7:05.  The winner advances to the Final Four in Atlanta.

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