Johnny Carver’s dream of following in his father and brother’s footsteps in basketball came to a halt in high school. But that didn’t stop this University of Arkansas sophomore from living his basketball dream in another way.
His father, Brad, and older brother, Steve, both excelled on the high school level at Shawnee Mission Northwest and played on the collegiate level. So from an early age Johnny was involved in the game.
“My brother was a big Kobe Bryant fan, so I was too,” says Carver. “My mom took me to a Tryonn Lue Camp in kindergarten and ever since then I knew I wanted to play at a serious level.”
But his health didn’t cooperate.
“I had major health issues all throughout high school,” says Carver. “I had many extensive stays in the hospital. The worst was when I spent 16 days in the hospital, most of them without food or water, and lost 16 pounds.”
This didn’t help his high school basketball career which started with two years at SM Northwest and the last two years at Olathe Northwest.
“I transferred to Olathe Northwest prior to my junior year in high school,” he says. “It was a fresh start for me and it one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”
Despite the problems that ended his basketball career, he still wanted to be part of the game.
“When my career ended, my parents kept telling me that I needed to do something to fill the time that basketball had always taken up,” he says. “I had started a book when I was 12 about the greatest players in NBA history and wanted to finish it.
“But then I realized that nobody is going to care about my personal opinions since at I was 17 at the time with no credibility.”
But Johnny and his brother Steve came up with an idea.
“I talked it through with my brother and together in the middle of the night came up with the idea to create an algorithm,” he says. “We went to my grandfather, Bill Hudson, and presented him with the idea.
“He was an author and loved the NBA. He was blown away and from then on I knew it was a project that could change my life.”
The result was the book Ranketology, which was published in January and is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks and the Amazon Kindle. It is a self-published book and the website is Ranketology.com.
“To put it simply, it’s a statistic that measures the legacies of NBA players based on their accomplishments and achievements,” says Carver. “The first part of the book explains the math behind the algorithm and the results. Then it gets into the individual profiles of the Top 25 players. I wanted this book to be reader friendly and not just a technical book about math.”
A lot of work went into the book.
“I spent full days from the moment I woke to moment I went to bed researching every statistic,” he says. “I had to gather every bit of information piece by piece, and that took weeks. The research for the individual profiles took a long time as well.”
The college sophomore’s life has changed some since the book came out.
“The best part has definitely been experiences meeting with NBA teams since the book came out,” says Carver. “I’ve been able to travel around the country and meet with teams. It’s really opened up a lot of opportunities for me. I’ve learned more about the language of business and how to market myself through this project than I ever could have learned in school.”
What are his future plans?
“I want to work in basketball operations for an NBA team in some capacity,” he says. “And someday hopefully I can work my way into being a general manager.”